EAP NewsBrief
Feb. 10, 2015

'Call for Proposals' for 2015 World EAP Conference: Deadline Feb. 20
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
The Call for Proposals for EAPA's 2015 Annual World EAP Conference in San Diego closes on Feb. 20. The conference will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 2 at the award-winning and newly renovated Town and Country Resort Hotel, located on 32 lushly landscaped acres with the relaxing atmosphere of a secluded resort, but just minutes from downtown San Diego, sandy beaches, the world famous San Diego zoo, and other attractions. Attendees from more than 40 countries are expected to participate. The conference theme is "Blue Sky in San Diego: EAP in the 21st Century." Focus areas for the conference are: Engaging with stakeholders, Defining and demonstrating the EA value proposition, Serving individual clients, Enhancing the EAP/work organization partnership, and Looking beyond the horizon. More

President's budget proposes critical investments to reduce opioid addiction
Office of National Drug Control Policy
More people in the U.S. now die every day from drug overdoses than from traffic crashes, and the majority of drug overdose deaths are caused by prescription opioids and heroin. Overdose deaths involving prescription pain relievers rose more than 300 percent from 1999 through 2011, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare these deaths an epidemic, and the deaths associated with heroin have increased significantly for the last three years. Last week, President Barack Obama proposed critical investments to help tackle the growing problem of opioid addiction.More

EAPA members invited to Asia Pacific EAP Conference
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
EAPA has arranged for members wishing to attend the 2015 Asia Pacific EA Roundtable Conference, April 16-17 in beautiful Goa, India, to receive discounted member registration rates! Goa is one of the premier vacation destinations in Asia and is known for its relaxing beaches, good food and night markets. The conference theme, "Wellness-Productivity-Outcomes," focuses on the primary drivers for EAP growth in the Asia Pacific region, perhaps the world's fastest-growing EAP market. EAPA CEO Dr. John Maynard will present the opening keynote on global EAP growth and the future of EAP in Asia. More

Study shows texts may be more effective than apps for self-directed assistance
For many people experiencing mental health issues, mental health apps are the closest they get to a therapist's office. Such apps offer self-directed assistance with common mental health issues, and some users report incredible changes. Hazelden's Twenty-Four Hours a Day, for instance, aims to help people recovering from addiction survive the journey to sobriety, and iCouch CBT allows iPhone users to practice cognitive behavioral therapy techniques at home. But texting may be a superior option because phone users may be more likely to text than to download apps.More

New York Federal court: Employer does not need to compensate employees for time spent at mandatory drug counseling
The National Law Review
Employers need not shy away from compelling their employees to seek alcohol counseling and treatment (or other drug dependency treatment) as an alternative to job discipline or termination of employment where appropriate. According to a New York Federal court, employers do not have to pay their employees to attend mandatory alcohol counseling and treatment sessions. In reaching its decision, the court concluded that employee attendance at these sessions does not constitute "work," and even if it did, then the employer still would not have to pay for this time because it would be considered a non-compensable postliminary activity.More

Meditation may slow mental aging
Psych Central
The good news is that people are living longer, the not so good news is that many people experience mental decline as they grow older. So although people might be living longer, the years they gain often come with increased risks for mental illness and neurodegenerative disease. Now, a new study suggests meditation could be one way to minimize cognitive decline.More

APA releases annual 'Stress in America' survey
American Psychological Association
The annual Stress in America™ survey measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress and the impact of stress on our lives. The results of the survey draw attention to the serious physical and emotional implications of stress and the inextricable link between the mind and body.More

Stress influences the perception of pain
Psych Central
New research finds that acute psychosocial stress dramatically reduces the body's ability to control pain. Tel Aviv University researchers applied acute stress tests on a large group of healthy young male adults to evaluate the behavior of the body's pain management systems prior to and after the induction of stress.More

Workplace violence: Keeping employees safe
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that nearly 2 million U.S. workers report having been a victim of workplace violence each year. OSHA further suggests that many other violent incidents occur in American workplaces but go unreported. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 753 workers were killed in the U.S. in 2013 due to violence, including 397 homicides and 270 suicides. This means that employers need to be concerned about employee deaths not only from occupational accidents and exposures, but also from intentional, violent acts by disgruntled current or former employees and outsiders.More

Long hours lead to lower productivity
Human Resource Executive
Research suggests employers that try and stretch workers' hours and squeeze every drop of work out of them may be shooting themselves in the foot in terms of worker output, safety and productivity. Employees at work for a long time may experience fatigue or stress that not only reduces [their] productivity, but also increases the probability of errors, accidents and sickness that impose costs on the employer.More

Alcohol and workers compensation
Injuries on the job caused by the employee's alcohol abuse can be successfully defended for declination of benefits. However, the employer has a heavy burden of proof to have a successful ruling by a workers compensation judge or referee. Policies for alcohol abuse must be properly established and enforced. Strong investigation and evidence gathering is mandatory for a successful denial of benefits and medical care.More