EAP NewsBrief
Jun. 11, 2013

EAPA announces program and opens registration for 2013 World EAP Conference
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
The Conference Preview Book for the 2013 World EAP Conference, to be held Oct. 16-19 at the world famous Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, is now available for viewing online. The conference begins Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 16, and ends Saturday night, Oct. 19, after a special presentation and performance by Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winning songwriter Paul Williams. Pre-conference training courses are Oct. 15-16. This year's conference also offers unparalleled networking opportunities; keynotes by Darrell Scott, Jeff Mitchell and Mark Attridge; and 55 cutting-edge breakout presentations — all at the lowest hotel price in over a decade.More

PTSD may be prevented, researchers find
Los Angeles Times
Experts estimate that up to 20 percent of U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that can be stubbornly difficult to treat. But what if PTSD could have been prevented in the first place? Scientists have done something similar in traumatized mice.More

EAPs are serving an ever-expanding role
As the cost of health care for employers continues to rise, EAP providers view themselves as a proactive service to reduce employee stress and other potential issues that could lead to health costs down the road, says Stella Antonakis, a senior consultant at Mercer, a human resources consultancy. Antonakis, who has been in the industry since 1987 and started as a licensed clinician, says an EAP is "one of the more affordable" benefit costs for employers. What's more, the service is free to employees, and the return on investment can be significant, she says.More

EAPA opens call for nominations for 2013 annual awards
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
Each year at the Annual World EAP Conference, EAPA recognizes and celebrates the achievement of members, individuals and organizations who have distinguished themselves through their work and leadership in the EA profession. EAPA Awards salute outstanding achievements in a number of different categories, including EAPA Member of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, EAP Quality Award, Outstanding Chapter and Branch Awards and more. The nomination process involves completing an online form, demonstrating that qualifying criteria are met and highlighting specific achievements that support the nomination. Each nominee must receive at least two separate nominations in order to be considered by the Awards Committee. EAPA is accepting nominations through Aug. 9.More

New tech tools help evaluate effectiveness of EAPs
Business Insurance
Although using scientific measures to gauge the effectiveness of employee assistance programs is still in its infancy, two tools have emerged to help EAPs and employers evaluate outcomes and return on investment. Although both tools — a survey tool by Chestnut Global Partners L.L.C., and a software tool developed by Swansea, Ill.-based Harting Associates Inc. — are being used primarily by EAP providers, they also are available to employers seeking ways to scientifically validate the effectiveness of their EAPs.More

Baby boomers are killing themselves at alarming rate, raising question: Why?
The Washington Post
VideoBrief It has long held true that elderly people have higher suicide rates than the overall population. But numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a dramatic spike in suicides among middle-aged people, with the highest increases among men in their 50s, whose rate went up by nearly 50 percent to 30 per 100,000; and women in their early 60s, whose rate rose by nearly 60 percent (though it is still relatively low compared with men, at 7 in 100,000).More

Mental health in Canadian workplaces: Safe at last
Social Justice Solutions
To further strengthen arguments promoting psychologically safe workplaces, Canada now has a health and safety standard aimed at establishing a baseline for behavior in the workplace. Released by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the new standard "Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace" is the first of its kind in the world. It is primarily a "safety first" manual for preventing mental injury in the workplace.More

Obama urges greater openness in dealing with mental illness
President Barack Obama said that Americans need to become more open about mental health issues so that people struggling with problems are not ashamed to seek help. More than 60 percent of Americans with mental illness do not receive treatment, many of them because they are embarrassed or afraid of being ostracized, Obama said, speaking at a White House conference on mental health.More

EAPs should be measured by achievement of objectives
Business Insurance
Midsize employers seeking to gauge the effectiveness of their employee assistance programs should focus on whether the EAP is achieving the objectives set when it was implemented. Kim Jinnett, research director at the Integrated Benefits Institute in San Francisco, suggests employers use employee performance measures, such as absenteeism and presenteeism, to measure EAP effectiveness, "because our research and that of others demonstrates that individuals experiencing high levels of work, family or financial stress are absent more and perform more poorly at work."More

Thinking differently: Autism finds space in the workplace
German computer software giant SAP launched a recruitment drive to attract people with autism to join it as software testers and U.S. home financing firm Freddie Mac advertised a second round of paid internships aimed specifically at autistic students or new graduates. The multinationals both say they hope to harness the unique talents of autistic people as well as giving people previously marginalized in the workforce a chance to flourish in a job.More

Caffeine withdrawal is now a mental disorder
According to a new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, an excessive caffeine intake can lead to a condition known as "caffeine intoxication." The disorder, as it's described in both the older DSM-IV and new DSM-5, falls under the heading "Caffeine-Related Disorders," but in DSM-5, that section includes a new entry: caffeine withdrawal. According to DSM-5, symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include fatigue, headache and difficulty focusing.More