Data from the behavioral health care industry is consistent year–over–year and the top requested Employee Assistance Program (EAP) service is…counseling. No surprise right? EAP's are historically known for offering counseling services. What we learned is not only do employees utilize the counseling services regularly, but they also prefer to meet face to face. The preference for in–person counseling is not due to lack of options. Time–crunched, multi–generational workplaces want more options to connect with EAP services which is why Cascade Centers offers phone, in–person, text, video chat and online chat sessions with a licensed counselor to engage with employees.
It's not a lack of options.
The data reveals that employees do still prefer a face to face connection with their counselor even though they have access to alternatives. If employees prefer in–person counseling why do companies more often offer an EAP that only offers telephonic counseling? Why should employees face barriers to accessing face to face counseling? This is oftentimes the case when the EAP benefit offered is considered a “free” or “embedded” EAP. Most disability carriers started to offer a “free” or “embedded” EAP to stand out among their competitors. Today most disability carriers now offer a free EAP, and sometimes that free option is sufficient. Employers lean towards a free EAP if they don't have a corporate culture that emphasizes mental health or there's not a high demand from employees.
On the flip side, sometimes the free option doesn't align with the organization's goals or there is a higher level of support needed leaving companies to seek out a standalone EAP for a more robust benefit offering. Cascade Centers is a standalone EAP – we're not free but we offer more options. Standalone EAP access extends to all members of your household who may need in–person counseling, robust work/life/balance programs, legal support, or financial wellness services.One benefit of having a standalone EAP is the ability to collaborate with your dedicated account manager and customize your program. You even get access to utilization *reports. Customizing your program might range from integrating with your other benefit providers or finding new and creative ways to keep mental health top of mind all year long. If you're interested in looking at the next generation of EAPs we'd like to hear from you!
Want access to more EAP data? Stay tuned for the launch of our annual benchmarking report, coming in 2018.
*Due to confidentiality, full utilization reports are available for groups of 75 and over