EAP NewsBrief
Jan. 15, 2013

Shootings often haunt the police officers involved
Star Tribune
In a matter of months last year, St. Paul, Minn., police officers shot and killed three civilians, an unprecedented occurrence for the city, while seven other people were fatally shot by other Minnesota law enforcement officers by year's end. Officer-involved shootings, called "critical incidents" in law enforcement language, can draw intense media and public scrutiny. But an untold story is that the trauma often unmoors officers in dramatic and life-changing ways, driving some to alcoholism, divorce, early retirement and even suicide.More

Changes to workers' compensation laws proposed to aid first responders
Connecticut Rep. Stephen Dargan may still be fielding phone calls over his proposal to make gun permit information public, but another piece of legislation he proposed has already found support from the Newtown, Conn., community. Dargan introduced a bill that that would require workers' compensation benefits to cover post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders.More

Shift in casino gambling to screen-based games is contributing to gambling addiction
The New York Times
Jon E. Grant, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, believes the gambling problems of people who are coming in for treatment, or who are seen in research, appear to be more severe than they were 10 or 15 years ago. He thinks the popularity of multiline slot machines is one reason.More

EAPA-endorsed FMLA amendment bill to be introduced in February
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
As you may remember, EAPA has endorsed the Farley-Kluger Initiative to Amend the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 to add loss of a child. This initiative already has resulted in over 44,000 petitions sent to Congress. During the week of Feb. 4, initiative founders Kelly Farley and Barry Kluger will meet with U.S. House and Senate leadership, and the indication is a bill WILL be introduced on Feb. 5, the 20th anniversary of the FMLA being signed into law by President Bill Clinton. They believe the petitions will be influential in making their case, and they would like to go to Washington with 50,000 petitions. If you have NOT already signed the petition, EAPA encourages you to go to the website www.FarleyKluger.com and sign now. Please also pass this link on to colleagues who would support this important effort.More

Peace and war: Trajectories of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms before, during and after military deployment in Afghanistan.
Psychological Science
Soldiers deployed to service in war zones experience many situations involving danger to their lives and potential injury, which may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Still, the majority of soldiers (ranging from 76 percent to 98 percent across different studies and wars) returns from service without PTSD. Using latent class growth analysis, researchers identified six trajectories of change in PTSD symptoms. Two resilient trajectories had low levels across all five times, and a new-onset trajectory started low and showed a marked increase of PTSD symptoms.More

Study questions effectiveness of therapy for suicidal teenagers
The New York Times
Most adolescents who plan or attempt suicide have already received at least some mental health treatment, raising questions about the effectiveness of current approaches to helping troubled youths, according to the largest in-depth analysis to date of suicidal behaviors in American teenagers. The findings, based on interviews with a nationwide sample of more than 6,000 teenagers and at least one parent of each, linked suicidal behavior to complex combinations of mood disorders like depression and behavior problems like attention-deficit and eating disorders, as well as alcohol and drug abuse.More

Health insurers still requesting steep rate hikes
MedPage Today
Although one goal of the Affordable Care Act was to rein in the high cost of health insurance, dozens of health plans continued to implement double-digit rate hikes. So far, 44 states have programs to review rate increases in their states. For states that don't have such programs, HHS reviews the proposals.More

Wellness programs get booster shot from feds
Human Resource Executive Online
Thanks to the latest federally issued health care-reform guidelines, wellness in the American workplace should end up getting a welcomed booster shot in 2014 and beyond. Even with that positive news, however, experts say the next two years remain full of uncertainty and complexity, warning employers and human resources executives to stay focused as the Affordable Care Act continues to unfold bit by bit.More

The urgent need for confidential psychological care for US military
The Atlantic
Soldiers' concerns about retribution and stigma make many reluctant to see military psychologists, and their health insurance does not pay for them see civilian doctors.More

Supporting employees' mental health issues
HR Magazine
For too many people, getting home after a hard day at work is not the comfort that it should be. Indeed, for an increasing number, the pressure at home may be even more intense than the pressure at work, and this may affect their performance in their job. For employers there is an awkwardness about where their duty of care for employees starts and finishes and how much they can intrude into the private lives of their colleagues, even if problems at home are spilling into their work.More

UK companies failing to deal with stress in workplace
Workplace Savings and Benefits
U.K. companies are falling behind the rest of Europe in implementing measures to effectively tackle and deal with stress in the workplace, according to a study carried out by Vigeo. Just 45 percent of U.K. companies reported on stress prevention measures within the workplace, coming in behind France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain.More

Baby boomers struggle with ageism in the workplace
The New York Times
Many people aged 55 to 64, who had been dreaming of easy retirement, have had to remake their lives to find work during the recession.More

1 in 3 Americans have no paid sick days
An estimated 41.7 million workers, or roughly 1 in 3 employees in the United States, cannot take sick days — a fact that is bad news even for workers who can stay home when they're ill. As the nation's public health officials warned recently about the start of a flu epidemic, the disease is more widespread in part because millions of sick people trudge to work since they can't afford to stay home.More