EAP NewsBrief
May. 27, 2014

Workplace stress a global issue
Employee Benefit News
Workplace stress is a worldwide issue with new data indicating stressed-out employees are a contributing factor to the global rise in health care costs. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as part of its OECD Better Life Index, finds that job quality can drag down employee well-being and overall health and that stressed-out employees are experiencing extensive medical problems.More

New ways meth use can alter the brain
Victoria University via Medical Xpress
Although New Zealanders are among the highest users of methamphetamine worldwide, Dr. Peter Bosch says the genetic and cellular modifications induced by the drug are not completely understood. During his research, Bosch studied many thousands of genes and proteins within the reward system to identify what was altered following exposure to the highly addictive drug.More

UK study: Mental illness is deadlier than heavy smoking
Medical Daily
According to a new study out of Oxford University, severe mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking. The research, conducted by psychiatrists, shows that mental illness can reduce someone's life span by up to 10 to 20 years. People who smoke, meanwhile, typically shave off about 10 years of their life.More

Thinking about the unthinkable: Developing a plan to keep employees safe from workplace violence
HR Professionals Magazine
A movie theater. An assisted living facility. A military base. An elementary school. A skyscraper. A grocery store. A tourist attraction. A community center. An office building. A church. What do all these places have in common? For one thing, they are all workplaces, offices, buildings, shops where employees come and go every day, expecting just another 9-to-5. They are workplaces like yours, in one way or another. They share another common trait: All of these locations have been targets of workplace violence resulting in fatalities.More

Women 'feel the weight' of health more than men
Employee Benefit News
While certain health and wellness campaigns lend themselves to gender-specific messaging — mammograms or prostate cancer, for example — positioning health and benefits communication to male and female employees differently isn’t commonplace. But employers may want to reconsider how they communicate about health benefits in light of a new survey which finds marked differences in the perspectives and behaviors of men and women.More

WHO survey reveals rise of self injury in English adolescents
The Guardian
There has been a threefold increase in the number of teenagers who self-harm in England in the last decade, according to a World Health Organization collaborative study. The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children report, due to be published in the autumn, will reveal that of the 6,000 young people aged 11, 13 and 15 surveyed across England, up to 1 in 5 15-year-olds say they self-harm. More

A revolutionary approach to treating PTSD
The New York Times
Psychomotor therapy is neither widely practiced nor supported by clinical studies. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has spent four decades studying and trying to treat the effects of the worst atrocities: war, rape, incest, torture and physical and mental abuse. He has written more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on psychological trauma. Trained as a psychiatrist, he treats more than a dozen patients a week in private practice and he oversees a nonprofit clinic in Boston, the Trauma Center, that treats hundreds more. If there's one thing he's certain about, it's that standard treatments are not working. Patients are still suffering, and so are their families. More

US workers get a failing grade on financial wellness
Society for Human Resource Management
The purpose of the Society for Human Resource Management's Financial Wellness in the Workplace Survey, sponsored by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, is to determine whether workers are continuing to struggle financially even as the economy improves and to identify the types of financial challenges employees are experiencing. The survey also explores how these financial challenges may transfer into concerns for the workplace and what employers are doing to alleviate these issues. More

Disability, obesity, behavioral issues, and whole person health
People are living and working longer. But their lives — and workplace performance — are negatively impacted by all manner of disability. The authors of the study "The Global Burden of Disease Study" reached a dramatic conclusion, as expressed by Christopher J.L. Murray, who headed the study: "We are in transition to a world where disability is the dominant concern as opposed to premature death." More

Employees think workplace health is more talk than walk
Creating a work environment that addresses the health and well-being of employees is, according to most employers, a top-of-the-mind objective. But when asked if they believe their work environment meets that standard, many employees say it's mostly talk with very little walk.More

Companies bear responsibities in anti-harassment training
HR Daily Advisor
One of the main reasons anti-harassment training is important is that employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace — one that is free of harassment. What can an employer do to help ensure it is taking all appropriate precautions against harassment in the workplace? One concrete action employers can take is to ensure that anti-harassment training is provided to both employees and managers. More

The good news about elder care benefits at work
Today's reality is that many Americans care for aging family members — more than 2 in 5 of us, according to our research at the Families and Work Institute. And it's a reality that employers are beginning to pay attention to — with a growing number now providing help for employees who feel that they just have to "suck it up" in managing this care and their careers.More