An employee assistance program (EAP) is an employee benefit program that assists employees with their own performance , health , mental and emotional well-being. EAPs offer full and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees and their household members. EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employees and organizational challenges and needs. Many corporations, academic institutions, and other organizations are working with organizations to prevent and respond to situations of violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations. There is a variety of support programs offered for employees. Even though EAPs are primarily aimed at work-related problems, there are a variety of programs that can assist with problems outside of the workplace. EAPs have grown over the years, and are more desirable economically and socially.
EAPs have been traced back to the late 1930s, and were formed out of programs that dealt with occupational alcoholism. During a time when drinking on the job was the norm, people began to notice the effects of performance and productivity. This became a major issue for industrial jobs and would become the main focus for correction with job-based alcoholism programs. By 1939, the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) movement had begun to spread across the Midwestern and Northeastern United States.  EAP movement is one of the most important areas of EAP movement in the world. the thought of what other types of problems this program could address.
In 1962, The Kemper Group introduced a program to address alcoholic rehabilitation and later expanded the program to address the needs of employees. Including the families broadcasters, emotional, financial, legal, and drug abuse problems.  In 1969, Senator Harold Hughes would introduce a bill called The Hughes Act. Sen. Hughes felt that there was a great lack of federal and state involvement in the treatment of alcoholism. In 1970, Congress would pass the Federal Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention Treatment and Rehabilitation Act creating the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA). States would then begin to follow suit and denounce public intoxication and The NIAAA would focus on research and processing alcoholism. They were also focused on providing states with EAP specialist.
In the 1970s, the Occupational Alcoholism Bureau formed by the National Council on Alcoholism (NCA) and the Association of Labor and Management Administrators and Consultants on Alcoholism (ALMACA) helped to spread EAP concepts. They did this by distributing information, giving conferences and seminars, increasing the knowledge of professionals and the community. A number of treatment centers would also grow after the passing of the Hughes Act. These centers have EAP specialist on site to help in the rehabilitation processes. It is not known the exact amount of treatment in the United States.
Economic crisis cutbacks
Employee Assistance Programs would have a significant shift during the economic crisis of the 1980s. During this time, the government was forced to create cutbacks for programs. This would cause for mental health public agencies, treatment centers, and private counseling firms to survive the EAP field. This would also cause the effectiveness of the programs to come into question. The cutbacks began to affect the training of the EAP specialist and their effectiveness. The situations of workers at this time. People were also having to wait in lines, and were having trouble with the crisis.
Post September 11
In most recent years, the services provided by EAPs have changed in their direction. With events occurring nationally and around the world, the United States. EAPs have also been affected by technology, terrorism attacks, natural disasters, disability act, and workplace violence.  Since the events of September 11, 2001 , EAP specialists Have Become more Involved in incident debriefing and Implementing Plans During emergencies  Providers Began to report more on the workforce experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) , and an Increase in stress and depression.  The continued threat of terrorism, they are more concerned about the thought of an attack occurring again.
EAPs may result in various benefits for employers, including lower medical costs, reduced turnover and absenteeism, and higher employee productivity.   Critical of these studies, lack of experimental control groups and lack of standardized measures. Proponents, however, argue that the consistency of positive findings across studies in different areas of least positive effects of programs, even if the most effective components of such programs have not been determined. EAPs may also provide services to employers, such as supervisory consultations, support to troubled work teams, training and education programs, and critical incident services.
The provision of employee assistance services has established business benefits, including increased productivity of employees (termed “presenteeism”) and decreased absenteeism .  EAP hotline 24 hours a day, so there is no need to wait for help. If an appointment with a medical professional or counselor is necessary, the employee can arrange to see it in just a few days. Because the employee can call anytime, they do not worry about calling from a work phone. You may also be able to minimize the cost of your health insurance plan, because they can use the EAP to ward off stress-related illnesses.
Small businesses can especially benefit from EAP programs. Even though they may be used in the past few years, they may not be able to implement the EAP program. A small company could be severely damaged if they do not seek effective measures to rectify such issues. An effective, full-service EAP can help both employees and employees by reducing the risk of debt, by improving employee satisfaction, and especially by reducing the burden of small business. 
Benefits of EAP are:
- Direct Access: Employees call the psychologist’s office directly.
- Quick Response: The first counseling session occurs within a few days, and a crisis is dealt with immediately.
- Professional: Counselors have earned a master’s or doctorate in psychology or counseling, and are experts in human behavior.
- Confidentiality: The employer never knows who uses the service.
- Off-Site: Counseling takes place at the Psychologist’s office.
- Direct Treatment: Referrals are made only when the patient requires another specialist or long-term care.
- Appropriate Coverage: 24 hours a day hotline with offices in cities and towns
Employees and their household members may use EAPs to help manage issues in their personal lives. EAP counselors, counseling, support, and referrals to additional resources as counselors for a limited number of program-paid counseling sessions. The issues for which EAPs provide support vary, but examples include:
- substance abuse
- occupational stress
- emotional distress
- major life events, including births, accidents and deaths
- health care concerns
- financial or non-work-related legal concerns
- family / personal relationship issues
- work relationship issues
- concerns about aging parents
An EAP’s services are usually free to the employee and their household members, having been prepaid by the employer. In most cases, an employer contracts with a third-party company to manage its EAP. Some of these companies, such as: financial advisors, attorneys, travel agents, elder / child care specialists, and the like. 
Confidentiality is maintained in accordance with legal and ethical standards .  
In the United States, California requires EAP providers who deliver actual counseling services on a pre-paid basis for 3 sessions within a six-month period to a Knox-Keene license. This is a specialty license for psychological services and is mandated by the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975. The state’s Department of Health Care regulates these surgeries and assists consumers with that the EAP has an appropriate level of tangible net equity to deliver services to plan members. Title 28, Rule 1300.43.14 of the California Code of Regulations allows EAPs without a Knox-Keene license to request an exemption if they do not provide services.
Each Federal Executive Branch has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP is a voluntary, confidential program that helps employees (including management) work through various life challenges that can adversely affect job performance, health, and personal well-being to optimize an organization’s success. EAP services include assessments, counseling, and referrals for additional services to employees, such as stress, financial issues, legal issues, family problems, conflict and alcohol abuse. EAPs also with the help of management and supervisors providing advanced planning for situations, such as organizational changes, legal considerations, emergency planning, and response to single traumatic events. EAP’s can reap benefits for agencies families and communities. Some of those aspects that we will be focusing on: the improvement of productivity and employee engagement, improving employees ‘and dependents’ abilities to successfully respond to challenges, developing employee and manager competencies in managing workplace stress, reducing workplace absenteeism and unplanned absences, Working with employees and managers during workforce restructuring, reducing-in-forces, or other workforce changes, reducing the number of accidents, reducing the likelihood of workplace violence or other safety risks, workplace, injury, or other crises, facilitating safe, timely, and effective return-to-work for employees short-term and extended absences,
Military / veterans
There are a variety of social assistance programs, family counseling, depression, and transitional assistance programs. One of the largest military employee assistance organizations is Military One Source . Military One Source offers both services and their families, but there is a need for specific services. If someone is in need of an active member, a member of a veteran, a veteran, or a member of a veteran, they may find additional information .
In the last couple of years. What started as alcohol assistance programs has grown to help people with financial issues, physical health, family health, and since 2000 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) ). There are several programs for families, and increasing assistance for dual military families, families in which both spouses are active duty military, as they have grown dramatically in number. Financial programs have been expanded as well as increased in popularity in the 2000s; and as a result, debt among military members has grown as well. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society(NMCRS), is a program started by military members to help other members. This society has helped many members of the public service, but they have a long way to go. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has helped many members of the military when unforeseen problems arise. More information on the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society can be found at: www.nmcrs.org .
One of the largest veteran employee assistance programs is Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA provides a variety of services to veterans including: health care, transitional housing assistance, mental health, financial assistance, women veterans assistance, and career search assistance. The Veteran Affairs is a nationwide system that offers them all services. More information on Veterans Affairs can be found at: www.va.gov .
- Industrial and organizational psychology
- Occupational health psychology
- Work-life balance
- Workplace interventions
- Workplace stress
- Wellness Workplace
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