EAP NewsBrief
Jan. 2, 2013

Following Newtown tragedy, EAPA joins petition for improved mental health services
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
EAPA has endorsed and signed on to a letter from leaders in the mental health and substance use fields on the Newtown tragedies. The letter, sent to President Barack Obama, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, called for improved mental health education, prevention, early intervention and community-based behavioral health care. EAPA encourages its members and other behavioral health professionals to view and sign on to the letter as individuals here. Signing the online petition will automatically email the president, speaker and president pro tempore, as well as the signer's representatives (determined through zip code). As EA professionals, we have both personal and professional stakes in seeing that national, community and workplace leaders take needed action to reduce the likelihood of future tragedies. The new year presents an opportunity to make sure that EAPA and the EA profession are part of the solution for a growing national problem. Let's make the most of it!More

Employer perceptions of stress and resilience intervention
Partnership for Workplace Mental Health
Research published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine supports increasing attention to the role of trust in organizations. Employer representatives detailed three levels of approaches that affect how their company addresses stress and resiliency: preventing stress/building resilience; providing information, resources and benefits to employees; and intervening actively with troubled employees.More

Using employee assistance plans to measurably improve mental health and performance
Journal of Health and Productivity
Employee assistance plans are gaining importance among forward-thinking employers as more than just an extension of their health plan or mental health benefit — returning to their origins as a resource to support human and organizational behavior that impacts health, productivity and emotional well-being. The impact of EAP counseling on workplace performance can be measured and evaluated, and EAPs can help employers tackle the leading reason for lost performance at work, or presenteeism — and that is depression, soon to become the leading cause of disability in the world as well as the second most significant cause of the total global burden of disease.More

Evaluating the workplace effects of EAP counseling
Journal of Health and Productivity
Despite the popularity and prevalence of employee assistance programs, and the historical emphasis on how EAP can improve work performance, there has been very little rigorous evaluation of the workplace effects of EAP counseling. The aim of this outcome study was to examine if and to what degree EAP counseling correlates with improved workplace effectiveness.More

As veterans return, PTSD could be more common in the workplace
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via The Salinas Californian
Many employers have not delved deeply into how they might address PTSD, a relatively new issue, but they could face it more frequently as more veterans return to the workforce. About 2.4 million members of the military have been deployed in the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, and tens of thousands are returning home. The influx is expected to continue until 2016.More

Dealing with harassment, violence in the workplace
VideoBrief As police in Greenwood Village, Colo., continue to investigate the death a 25-year-old woman in an apartment building garage, the issue of workplace violence has come to the forefront. The person police wanted to talk to about Emily Weikert's death was 51-year-old Robert Lewis, who had been recently fired after harassing her at work.More

Labor rules on social media protections
The Press-Enterprise
A federal ruling that ordered the reinstatement of five employees fired from a nonprofit agency could be a legal blueprint for future cases involving workers who post negative comments on their own social media pages. The National Labor Relations Board, the five-person body of presidential appointees that enforces federal labor laws and settles workplace disputes, ruled that the employees in question can't be fired because of their Facebook comments about co-workers.More

Preventing and handling workplace harassment of teen workers
Business Management Daily
Because of their youth and inexperience in the workplace, teenage workers are uniquely vulnerable to sexual harassment. It's a business's responsibility to prevent harassment — and investigate it if it does occur.More

Businesses can resolve to create a healthy workforce in 2013
The Bakersfield Californian
Businesses embrace New Year's resolutions. And some of them focus on the well-being, or "wellness" of workers. January is a fresh start month; a popular time for businesses to re-tool their employee wellness programs. Many companies provide wellness programs because they sincerely care about their employees. But these programs also can affect a company's bottom line.More

Conflict resolution in the workplace
Abilene Reporter-News
Good communication, as in all relationships, is essential to creating a workplace environment that will afford employees an opportunity to disclose brewing conflicts. Having open-door policies, making an effort to regularly check in with staff and ensuring that awareness and discussion of morale is part of the corporate climate will increase management's potential to learn about conflict early.More