EAP NewsBrief
Aug. 14, 2012

$100 Conference Early Bird discount: Don't miss approaching deadline
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
Build relationships. Build business. Save $100 on your registration. EAPA's 2012 World EAP Conference in Baltimore will be the largest, most intensive and most stimulating EA learning and networking experience in the world. Join 1,000 of your EA colleagues from over 40 countries to share best practices, examine emerging trends, clarify legal and regulatory requirements, update skills and create rewarding relationships. The conference experience simply cannot be replicated online. Deadline for Early Bird registration discount is Aug. 31. Register todayMore

Penn State plans coping, therapy sessions for employees
Centre Daily Times
Bert Alicea, a licensed psychologist who holds forums for employees dealing with traumatic events, remembers one company where no one showed up for the session and others where nearly everybody came. Either way, he said, is fine. "They just need to know we're there," he said. Alicea will be one of the certified employee assistance professionals with Health Advocate leading sessions for Penn State employees Aug. 15 and 16 to offer them techniques for coping with recent events stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal.More

Recognizing the many faces of depression
Medscape Medical News (registration required)
Depression was the fourth-leading cause of disability worldwide in 2000 and is projected to be the second leading cause by the year 2020. The lifetime prevalence for adults in the United States is estimated to be 16 percent. Although the prevalence of depression is largely similar among ethnic groups, differences in recognition and diagnosis of depression between white and minority patients have been noted. A 2001 Surgeon General's report highlighted this finding.More

Employers to raise wellness incentives by 50 percent
Employers expect health insurance costs to rise seven percent next year so they are looking to beef up their cost-control measures, including boosting wellness programs and enhancing employees' cost-sharing measures, according to a survey from the National Business Group on Health. That means insurers with large group plans may need to adjust their offerings to keep up with employers' changing desires.More

Integrating mental health with primary care
VideoBrief Estimates show at least six out of every 10 people who come into a doctor's office have some sort of mental or behavioral issue. But experts say the system is failing those patients.More

Many baby boomers face mental health, substance abuse issues
In recent months, much attention has been focused on the baby boomers and their impact on healthcare. A report released by the Institute of Medicine (the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences) presented some disturbing findings regarding care for mental health and substance abuse issues for seniors.More

Advocates: Mental health coverage to benefit under health care act
Austin American-Statesman
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has saved Barbara Vinson thousands of dollars on her son's mental health care over the past two years. The law allowed the Texas woman to add her son, Michael, now 24, to her insurance in 2010. Since then, her carrier has paid more than $18,000 for his inpatient treatment and psychiatric drugs for bipolar disorder. And although the law hasn't solved all their problems – many psychiatrists won't take insurance at all, she says – she's hopeful the legislation will help families like hers.More

Soldiers in Texas come forward for mental health care
Over the last five years Fort Hood in Texas has seen a dramatic increase in the number of behavioral health cases. Those cases range from anything from problems sleeping to severe cases of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.More

Healthy eating, exercise linked with workplace productivity
Huffington Post
Eating poorly and not exercising could be taking a toll on areas other than your waistline – it could also affect how productive you are at work, new research suggests. A new study that will be published in the journal Population Health Management shows that eating unhealthily is linked with a 66 percent increased risk of loss of productivity, while rare exercise is linked with a 50 percent increased risk of low productivity. And smoking is linked with a 28 percent increased risk of loss of productivity, researchers found.More

Blue-collar workers top charts for worst employee health
USA Today
Workers who keep the country running through transportation, construction and other services may also suffer the worst health, according to recent rankings of employees' well-being. The research group Gallup and wellness company Healthways gathered information about employees' health and living through its 2011 Well-Being Index to gain a comprehensive picture of workers' health across occupation groups. The survey, released last month, found that blue-collar workers topped the charts when it comes to many health concerns: About 37 percent of transportation workers and 30.7 percent of manufacturing and production employees are obese; smoking was prevalent among 33 percent in mining and construction and 29.3 percent in installation and repair work.More

Feds look to health IT to improve behavioral health
The federal government will hand out more than $4 million in grants nationwide in an effort to use health information technology to help substance abuse and mental health professionals in underserved areas, according to an announcement. The six U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants range from $718,000 to $840,000. According to SAMHSA, grant recipients will use the money to pay for technologies such as smartphones, behavioral health electronic applications and web-based services to improve communications, tracking and management efforts.More