Employee Family Assistant program Information Session

Employee Family Assistant program Information Session
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    Thank-you everyone for joining us for this webinar presentation of the EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program) program at
    Waterloo. My name is Monica Bothwell, and I am a staff representative
    on the EAP committee. The EAP committee is composed of representatives from all employee groups, along
    with Human Resources, Occupational Health and Counselling Services.
    The committee worked over the past year in developing criteria and selecting an EFAP provider, who would meet the diverse needs of
    our employees.
    The successful third party vendor selected is Homewood Health. Laurel Dewar is here from Homewood Health to take us through the
    details of the new program. However before she starts I will highlight some of the important elements of the program.
    The program is for eligible UW employees, their dependents, spouses and partners.
    The program provides in-person counselling, locally, nationally and abroad, with hours extending into the evening and weekends.
    Services beyond counselling are also offered. Laurel will provide more information on these in her presentation.
    The EFAP is a part of University of Waterloo benefits. There is no additional out-of-pocket cost to the employees for this program.
    Now without further ado, I will turn it over to Laurel to walk us through the program in greater detail.
    Hi, thank-you Monica, and welcome everybody to the session today.
    My name is Laurel Dewar I'm an Account Executive at Homewood Health and I'm the key contact working with the EAP committee.
    In this orientation today, you will learn what the assistance program is, and what the program offers you,
    how your confidentiality and privacy are protected and how to access the program.
    At Homewood Health, we are a trusted Canadian company with over thirty five years of experience
    delivering employee and family assistance program services and support to all our clients across Canada.
    Homewood Health is a leader in mental health and addiction treatment and dedicated to improving lives.
    We are also a COA, or Counsel on Accredited organizations.
    We offer a very broad continuum of services with an extensive network of clinicians and experts,
    that supports the complex health and wellness needs of individuals and their family members.
    Our approach is to nurture the entire employee life cycle, from prevention to treatment, and ultimately to wellness.
    I offer you this slide because it really does give a good indication of the degree of issues people are experiencing in their lives.
    Mental illness is increasingly recognized as a serious and growing problem.
    It's estimated that one in four Canadians will develop a mental illness at some point in their lives.
    Many more individuals, such as family, friends, colleagues, are also affected. We can say for sure that at least one percent of a population
    is likely to have a serious and persistent mental illness at any given point in their lives.
    The point of these statistics is that ongoing stress can have very detrimental effects on peoples lives and can result in a variety of ways.
    And this includes all the normal challenges that people face in their lives.
    so this is why organizations will have employee and family assistance programs,
    is to be a safe confidential place to call when people are really feeling in trouble.
    but it's so much more then that. It's helping people with all the normal challenges that we all face to reduce that stress in our lives.
    And that's what the studies show us; that high levels of stress, that chronic stress, can result in a lot of different negative ways.
    We see more injuries, more substance abuse cases
    And many physical ailments have been linked to stress. Heart disease, even certain cancers have been linked to stress.
    and this is why orgnaizations have employee and family assistance programs. To provide an easy and confidential access to resources
    guidance, coaching and psychological assistance to learn how to manage life's challenges.
    we can help when you need professional support and information, we will help you to take proactive steps to improve your well being
    real live in the backfield of war and information will help you make a lot of bad loans from there will be
    Sometimes life can throw a curveball at us that we weren't expecting. But even expected challenges can result in undue stress and
    emotional pain. The death of a loved one, the diagnoses of a serious health issue, the ending of a relationship.
    Situations such as these can cause tremendous distress in our lives.
    The accumulative effects of daily stresses can overwhelm us, and throw our lives out of balance.
    It is these times when the support and advice of a professional, a coach
    a guidance, can really make a difference to us
    So here's your full suite of services; counselling services are still the primary reason people call available face-to-face, telephonically and online.
    The easiest way to access is most people will just call in to the 1-800 number and set up the services that they are looking for.
    Homewood Health EFAP will help you achieve and maintain health and well-being through counselling and coaching services,
    as well as resource based support.
    Our services and programs are provided by our national network of clinical experts
    and all of our services are available in both national languages
    with other languages available as well, depending on a person's needs.
    when calling for assistance you will be offered the appropriate services and method of support you wish.
    For example, counselling is available face-to-face in a variety of locations
    and this is the piece that is going to be really exciting for everyone from the University of Waterloo because
    now you have a choice of options of where you would like to have face-to-face counselling if that's what you're looking for
    We also have counselling available telephonically
    as well as e-counselling, which is either chat or email or video counselling.
    Our Client Smart and Coaching service are also available to help you manage the normal challenges that we all face in work life balance,
    in health management and career management.
    I will go through each of these services quickly, in a few minutes so that you have a really good idea of what is available.
    As well online, we have available a number of services
    a health library, a health risk assessment tool, a locator tool
    and e-courses on a variety of topics, and I will tell you more about those in a minute.
    Let's talk about the EFAP counselling services.
    We refer to EFAP counselling as short-term solution focused counselling.
    This is an approach that focuses on enabling individuals or couples or families
    to develop the skills necessary to solve and resolve life's problems.
    The cornerstone of our short-term counselling model is to help each employee focus on goal setting and behaviour change.
    To enable employees and their families to develop coping skills to educate employees and their families in self-management techniques.
    to create a plan of action, or a new way to approach the things in life that are causing us problems.
    and provide guidance in finding longer term treatment or care, if this is required.
    Occasionally someone will come for EFAP counselling and they'll be assessed
    as needing that longer term care such as for serious addictions or substance abuse or eating disorder.
    these are the kinds of issues where we can help and support someone to a degree
    but we will guide them to the longer term treatment that they need.
    so the important thing to remember about EFAP counselling is that it is there as often as people need it,
    they can call back as many times as they need to, but it is issue based.
    So we are going to see that person to help and resolve the issue, learn how to manage it and close the case.
    And then of course they can always call back and request additional help if they need it.
    So there is no set number of sessions, it's based on the person and their issue.
    and just how much care that they need.
    Now, some of the other key elements of the EFAP
    it is of course voluntary. Homewood Health will arrange counselling and support that is always convenient for you.
    Crisis counselling of course is always available. If someone calls in and they say that they are in crisis,
    then they will be given a senior counsellor, on the phone for the initial session, right then and there.
    The intake counsellors are trained in crisis intervention
    so they know what cues to look for, what questions to ask, and they will offer that person
    an online or a telephonic counsellor on the phone right away. And if the person says no, that's fine, I really just want to book an
    appointment then we will carry on and set up their service that they are looking for.
    Privacy and confidentiality is absolutely the cornerstone of our services and I'm going to explain this further, in just a minute.
    The Homewood Health extensive network of clinicians and specialists provides quick and easy access
    to a very wide selection of support services for people. Giving you lots of choices.
    Our counsellors are professionally trained with a minimum of a Masters degree, in counselling psychology or social work,
    a minimum of five years experience
    In Ontario, we have an average of about eight years experience for our network, plus ten years of training.
    We provide ongoing training for the counselling network.
    And they all report in to a clinical manager who is a full-time Homewood Health employee by region.
    So that clinical manager will really help that network of counsellors with their cases
    and helping our clients who call in to make sure they are assigned to an appropriate counsellor with the right expertise.
    So the counselling network that we have is very extensive and it provides that expertise in a variety of areas
    depending on what that person's needs are; it might be marital, or family, or relationship issues
    or stress of course, anxiety, depression
    concerns related to addiction, trauma, workplace change or conflict or any other personal or work issue.
    The clients are matched up with a counselor who has that expertise in the area of concern.
    Accessing it is very simple, it's just a matter of calling the 1-800 intake number
    and speaking to an intake counsellor who will then ask that person a number of
    questions, if it's an urgent or crisis situation,
    or someone states they are in crisis, then they are connected to a senior clinician
    who is available 24/7 for immediate intervention and crisis management.
    So face to face counselling will be offered within 2-3 business days at the initial contact
    same day and next day appointments can also be offered for telephonic and e-counselling
    this is the really important piece for everyone to understand, how quickly we can offer services for face to face counselling
    and we do work with the individual who is calling in to try and accommodate their needs
    in terms of where, what time of day, male or female, what the issue is, and so on
    So when someone calls in, we're going to ask them for their name and what organization they are with,
    are they the employee or the family member we will need their birth date, then there will be a couple of quesitons
    about their issues so that we can match them up with the right counsellor
    The appointment time and location is also another way that we can maintain anonymity
    to help someone feel comfortable where they are seeing a counsellor.
    Counselling offices are local, and in your area we have several counsellors, in fact dozens of them
    and appointments are made very quickly.
    Does someone have a preference for location or gender or language or appointment time and
    we'll do our best to accommodate those preferences
    in addition the callers going to be asked for contact information
    because the counsellor that is assigned to them is going to call them back within that 2-3 day period to offer them the appointment time
    in order to call them back of course, we need a phone number.
    we always ask if you are not home when you say you will be, can we leave a message. If the person says well, it's a home number and
    I'd rather you not leave a message, then if they are not home when we call, we don't leave a message and the number is blocked.
    And that is one of the ways that we maintain confidentiality.
    Because obviously this is absolutely critical to the success of our organization and our program.
    If we did not maintain confidentiality, we wouldn't be in business
    All information is strictly confidential, we do not give out information about anybody calling
    We also book appointments by organization
    so that if two people were coming from the University to see the same counsellor on the same day,
    then we don't book back to back appointments
    A person is leaving a session knowing they are not going to bump into anybody from work.
    A very simple but effective way of maintaining anonymity.
    We ask for a phone number and if the employee is not there, we don't leave a message and the number is blocked.
    We do report on usage but the University is a large organization so we are able to report
    obviously aggregate data, no names are given
    and we do a basic breakdown of the University of Waterloo and the University Colleges, as well as employee group.
    But we are very careful about breaking down the statistical report
    too far, in order to avoid any identifying data. This is very important to us, and we are really careful about this.
    Now there are times and occasions when the assistance program is required, by law to breach confidentiality.
    These include anything to do with safety, so if there is evidence of child abuse or elder abuse, then we have to report it to the authorities.
    If someone is at risk to themselves, suicidal, or to others, homicidal then clearly we have to report it, call any parties involved,
    basically do whatever we can to hopefully prevent harm from happening.
    the only other exception to breaching confidentiality, is when there is a criminal investigation going on for example
    and the counsellor's notes are subpoenaed, then they have to surrender them, but that is rare.
    Let me now tell you about Plan Smart services or the coaching services.
    These Plan Smart services are a suite of telephonic services that offer assessments or coaching and resources
    to assist individuals in taking a proactive approach to managing everyday challenges.
    In addition to having that person who is a specialist on the phone,
    many of these services have a package of information that gets mailed out to the individual calling in
    so depending on what that person's questions are and what their needs are, we essentially do the research for that person
    and we put all that information in a package that could include things like articles or magazines or books
    So there is great value in just the packages just on their own,
    but then in addition you also have that specialist to provide you coaching and guidance and information.
    So our first grouping of our coaching or Plan Smart services is Life Balance
    So this includes the parenting expert who will provide a service called new parent support
    This provides new to be parents with information about the pregnancy, during the mat leave we can help with resources in their neighbourhood.
    perhaps they are living in an area where they just moved to and they don't have any family support
    what are the resources around to help them
    At the end of the mat leave, we can help the mom return to work with less stress, in terms of helping with the child care.
    What kind of childcare is she looking for?
    does she want an in-home, does she want a daycare, how does she find it. What kinds of questions should she ask?
    That is the kind of information and resources that the parenting expert will provide.
    As the kids get older, our childcare and parenting expert work directly with the person calling in to ensure
    that the unique family needs are taken into consideration.
    Typical topics include blending families, separation and divorce
    after school care, summer programs
    obesity issues, learning disabilities; a very big topic in the last couple of years is bullying, including cyber bullying
    The parenting expert is there to help
    the individual or parents calling in with these questions and give them guidance and coaching and information.
    The elder care and family
    We have elder care specialists on staff to work one on one with individuals calling in with specific needs, worried about their parents
    Perhaps that person who is in the generation that is the sandwich generation where they have the full-time job
    and they have got some financial stresses, they are helping their kids in college and university and they are worried about
    their parent who lives on their own, perhaps is coming home from the hospital and you don't know if they are going to be okay.
    What are the resources in the parents community? How can you help them?
    We can do referrals to organizations that do in home assessments.
    To make sure that the parent is alright on their own.
    Are there enough resources in the neighbourhood, or should they be in assisted living.
    The financial advisory service is an excellent program. It's for helping people with whatever financial issue or quesiton they might have
    a financial advisor will
    will coordinate a telephonic session
    and speak
    to the client about
    What their issues are, helping them with debt consolidation, learning how to budget.
    They will receive a comprehensive assessment in addition to suggestion and information
    that relates back to their specific concerns. To help them get their financial life back on track.
    Legal advisory-this is the most popular Plan Smart service that we have, it is a Lawyer on the phone
    helping someone with answers to their legal questions.
    the biggest topic is usually related to separation and divorce, or custody, but it could be any number of reasons
    landlord tenant dispute, could be a real estate question, someone needs a Will written and wants to know how to get started
    Now if someone does need legal representation, then they are going to be referred to two or three Lawyers in their community
    vetted by Homewood, so you know they are reputable, at a discount-you have to ask for that, but there is a savings there
    the best part is a person is now going to a Lawyer they are paying for, well armed
    because they have already had a session on the phone with a Lawyer to get answers to their questions.
    They know where they stand legally, they know what questions they should ask, what their next steps should be.
    and that gives them the confidence to call.
    Relationship Solutions is a relatively new service and it's in place
    because one of the top issues in counselling
    is relationships.
    So this is a very positive, proactive, support service that is provided to couples or individuals
    to basically improve their communication skills.
    We send out a package with a book by Dr. Gottman who is the relationship Guru.
    and a guidebook that we have designed to go along with it.
    It's a very fresh approach for couples needing to couples needing to address their relationship issues
    and people don't need to be in counselling in order to use it, it's a very nice way to have access to a tool
    to help people work and improve their relationships.
    but it's also a nice tool to have if people are in relationship coaching already.
    Health Smart coaching - so these are the services to help people manage their own health
    Nutritional services cover a full range of topics that can help or change nutrition related behaviour.
    Answer questions manage any nutritional challenges that someone might have.
    This is important as we provide a registered dietician or nutritionist to help somebody make changes to their life
    through a very specific assessment and a plan that includes goals that are very specific to them and are sustainable.
    We build a program where the person can actually manage it and keep it going and make the changes that will have the biggest impact
    12 weeks to wellness
    is like having a personal coach.
    We start off by doing an assessment helping someone calling in to find out what it is they are looking for but also what are the risk areas.
    We have them fill out a stress map that highlights the areas and risk of stress
    and the health risk assessment which is our online tool that anybody can access
    Which highlights areas of risk to a person's health overall. With these two tools, the coach and client are going to build a program
    that's going to have the most impact and help them make some small changes that are realistic and can fit in their lifestyle.
    and are sustainable.
    it's a program that is built,
    customized, to their needs, over a period of 12 weeks
    because the studies show it takes a minimum of three months to change behaviour
    Smoking cessation is one of the most intensive tobacco dependent intervention programs available. This program is built on
    proven behavioural based methods, it's designed to address all facets of smoking including the physical dependence,
    as well as the psychological dependence. Because that's the harder one to beat.
    So it is changing behaviour, what are their triggers?
    Let's change the behaviour so you can manage those triggers and keep away from that habit
    Career Smart
    these services help people deal with issues in the workplace.
    Career planning or career development coach is there to help people and assist those people calling in to identify and articulate
    what their skills and aptitudes and values and personality traits and interests are related to their career.
    so that they can have more success in their job.
    Some people call because they are having a conflict with a coworker or a boss and they want conflict resolution skills.
    Someone else is looking for time management. So depending on what it is that person is looking for to help them
    build a career in their organization
    or just to feel better about their work, we have the coaches to provide that.
    Shift worker support. This is a service that provides folks who have maybe one or even both parents on shift work.
    And it's all about helping people with those challenges.
    The top issues are always health related, eating and sleeping.
    It's tips and strategies in order to help a person manage those challenges of shift work.
    Pre-retirement planning-there is the financial aspect and if that's all someone wants, they just might want to use the financial counselling.
    Otherwise it's a transition for people who are facing retirement in the next while
    and they are kind of worried about it, what are they going to do later.
    Their whole identity has been wrapped up in their job and they are just feeling a little lost. So we can help them through that transition.
    You can also access our website called homeweb.ca
    and this is an online platform that offer access to personalized health and wellness tools like the health risk assessment tool I mentioned.
    And resources and online courses and support whenever you want it. Accessing is very easy, it's going to homeweb.ca
    type in University of Waterloo and that will prompt you for different information, your name
    whether you are the employee or a family member, which College or if you are part of the bigger University of Waterloo
    and your birth date. You then put in your own password
    and that will allow you to go into the online website and have a look at all the services
    and it will track it for you, but it's completely confidential.
    So if you were to take an e-course for example, you don't have to finish it all at one sitting.
    you can come back later and finish it at your own pace.
    There is the health risk assessment,
    and that's the health risk tool I mentioned that's used in 12 weeks to wellness
    and it helps people to have a look at the risks areas in their life.
    The child care and elder care service locators are lovely tools to use, easy to access and easy to use.
    you type in the parametres or information you are looking for and it provides a list of service providers in whatever particular area you need.
    There is the health library through the health and wellness resources section, all qualifed valid reliable data.
    Canadian content, links to Canadian organizations.
    and finally we have 20 e-learning courses. there are 15 e-learning courses for employees with a variety of topics available.
    targeting personal issues such as stress, mood, alcohol abuse, relationship, resilience, money matters.
    and there are also courses that are relevant to the workplace. Respect in the workplace for example.
    These are great courses in that they are written by a psychologist so there is a lot that people can learn, but they are still easy to use
    they are interactive you can watch videos, you do quizzes and you can print off completion sheets
    There is also 5 e-courses for managers.
    So if people are in that role, these courses are designed to help you with those personnel issues.
    And there is our last slide
    reminding you of the EAP committee members available and the numbers to access the Employee and Family Assistance Program
    as well as the website homewood, homeweb.ca
    You can always call in to the 1-800 number
    Just to ask if we have the services that you are looking for, and how can we help you.
    Thank-you Laurel for giving us a very informative overview.
    I would now like to encourage every one of you to try one of the many programs that are available through Homewood Health.
    The EAP committee will continue to monitor and review the program to ensure
    The interest and needs of all employees and their families are met. We welcome feedback, questions and
    your concerns, now and in the months to come.
    on this last slide you can see
    members of the committee, but you can also access that information on UW's EAP website.
    in the future.
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