EAP NewsBrief
Oct. 22, 2013

EAPA Presents Annual Awards at 2013 World EAP Conference in Phoenix
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
EAPA celebrated its best and brightest on Oct. 19, during the annual awards luncheon at the World EAP Conference in Phoenix. The winners included: Jim O'Hair, EAPA Member of the Year, Bern Beidel, Lifetime Achievement Award, Johnson & Johnson Global Employee Assistance Program, EAP Quality Award, Pacific Northwest, Outstanding Chapter Award, South Africa, Outstanding Branch Award, Joe Torres, John J. Hennessey Award, Amtrak Operation RedBlock Peer Prevention Program and Amtrak Employee Assistance Program, Ross Von Weigand Award. Jenny Espinoza and Colleen Stanley won Hennessy Scholarships to attend the 2013 Conference.More

IRS guidance on HRAs, FSAs and EAPs: plan amendments may be required
Among the many reforms under the Affordable Care Act is the prohibition on imposing annual dollar limits on essential health benefits. In addition, non-grandfathered group health plans must provide certain preventive services without any cost-sharing requirements. There has been wide-spread speculation as to how these market reforms would affect health reimbursement arrangements, health flexible spending accounts and other employer reimbursement arrangements.More

Millennials: The most stressed-out generation
Medical News Today
Young adults in the U.S. find it particularly hard to manage their stress and get the health care that meets their needs, says a new American Psychological Association survey "Stress in America: Missing the Health Care Connection." The survey found that adults aged from 18 to 33 years, also known as millennials, have an average stress level of 5.4 on a 10-point scale, compared to the national average of 4.9.More

The rising power of the consumer in the benefits arena
Benefits Canada
Employers may become largely irrelevant in the future employee benefits landscape — other than contributors to the cost of coverage. The real power will lie with the end consumer — employees and their dependents.More

UK employees blind to lifestyle-related health problems
Workplace Savings and Benefits
Two-thirds (66 percent) of U.K. employees believe they are in good or excellent heath, despite displaying two or more risk factors that could increase their chances of getting a disease. While a significant proportion of workers surveyed in the Britain's Healthiest Company Report run by PruHealth and Mercer were at risk of conditions such as heart attack or stroke due to being severely overweight or refusing to give up smoking, many refused to change their lifestyle.More

Latinos struggle to find help for mental health issues
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, nearly 6 million currently uninsured Latinos in the United States will have access to affordable health care come Jan. 1, 2014, including mental health and substance-abuse services. But some experts say that won't be enough to encourage mentally ill in the Hispanic community to seek help.More

Gender, discrimination and workplace mental health
Discrimination occurs in many areas of business and can be related to age, race, religion and sexual orientation. Gender discrimination is another form of discrimination that still exists in the workplace. Although it may be more subtle than some other forms of prejudice, gender inequality can have significant negative mental health effects.More

Exposing Canada's ugly mental health secret
The Globe and Mail
An estimated 1.2 million Canadian children are affected by mental illness. Yet, only one in four gets appropriate treatment. Access to care, speedy or otherwise, is not the only issue. There is stigma, there is denial and there is fear too.More

Is teletherapy replacing face-to-face counseling?
The Huffington Post
Research is beginning to show that while technology may not replace in-person therapy, advances are making life better for trauma survivors. Videoconferencing software is allowing therapists and clients to connect across vast geographical distances. Known as teletherapy or tele-mental-health, a variety of therapeutic interventions with diverse populations have now been delivered with the aid of this technology.More

Study: Give quantitative values to employee benefits or risk attrition
Aflac via Small Business Trends
Making sure your workforce understands the value of everything you’re offering could be a critical step in ensuring that your employees don’t jump ship because they think they’re being shorted on the benefits front. According to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, 59 percent of employees indicated they would take a job with slightly lower pay if it came with more robust benefits.More