Employee assistance program: Help when you need it

Life can be hard, sometimes when we least expect it. The sudden illness of a friend or family member, financial hardship or a bout of depression can send us into a tailspin. If that happens, Iowa State encourages its benefits-eligible employees and their immediate family members to seek help through the university's employee assistance program (EAP), offered through a private provider, Employee and Family Resources, Des Moines.

"It's important for employers to provide a voluntary program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems," said Ed Holland, director of benefits. "Iowa State's EAP program does just that to help employees through difficult or unforeseen life issues."

EAP is designed to help employees deal with stressful situations before they impact job performance. Examples include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Career struggles
  • Work/life balance
  • Finances
  • Health or stress concerns
  • Legal issues (not employment related)
  • Family/relationship difficulties
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Workplace conflicts

Employee and Family Resources' professional counselors are available 24/7 at no cost to assist employees and their immediate family members. Calls are confidential; EFR will not release your information to the university or anyone else without your written permission, unless a legal exception occurs. Legal exceptions could include child or dependent adult abuse or neglect, or other life-threatening situations.

In-person counseling sessions are free but limited to three sessions per incident. For example, you can use EAP counseling services for a financial hardship, and six months later, use those resources again for a workplace conflict. If an EAP counselor suggests you seek additional help, charges may apply for those services. However, counselors will help identify resources that are affordable or may be partially covered by health insurance. There is no limit to the number of times employees may use EAP services.

For more information or to receive EAP assistance, contact Employee and Family Resources at 800-327-4692.