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Quaterly News - June

Posted 21st June 2015


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Quarterly News

What Does a Good EAP Look Like?


With many organisations looking at strategies to manage Mental Health risk in the workforce, the company Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is often front of mind. An EAP should be considered as a key part of an organisation’s Mental Health strategy alongside specific mental health education programs, supervisor education and organisational factors. Often organisations will invest significantly in training to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst employees, with the view they will seek assistance from their EAP.  It is therefore imperative that the EAP provides a quality, accessible and responsive service.

August 2015

Qld Mining Industry -
Health & Safety Conference

Naomi Armitage, Gryphon Psychology Director will be presenting a case study on the application of the Mental Health Review tool to assist an organisation develop a Mental health strategy.
See you there.
Not all EAP’s are equal!! The mantra ‘you pay for what you get,’ very much exists in EAP’s. Many EAP’s provide little substance behind the glossy brochure. EAP’s are typically split into two models – those that utilise contractor’s or affiliates to provide services and those that employee their own staff.
Some questions you should ask when selecting an EAP are:

What is your average referral rate?
Typically a good and effective EAP should be accessed by around 5% of the workforce. A low referral rate could suggest the EAP is not widely known about or accepted amongst the workforce. Gryphon Psychology’s average referral rate across client organisations is 7-10%. A high referral rate does not suggest more mental health issues in the workforce, but instead suggests greater help seeking behaviour. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More  ​*|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
Which is a positive sign that employees are identifying when they need help and are seeking assistance. We attribute our high referral rates to the fact 93% of our sessions are delivered face to face by one of our employed Psychologists ensuring a responsive, reliable and effective intervention. *|END:IF|*
How do you manage the Critical Incident Response Service?
The most important time an organisation will require a responsive service is in the event of a Critical Incident. The management of these response services varies greatly between EAP providers. Many EAP’s will rely on contractors’ to assist them deliver the service. This can create lengthy delays as once a call centre receives the request for assistance, the EAP provider will then search through a list of contractor’s to call hoping they can provide a service. If the Critical Incident occurs on a weekend it may be unlikely a contractor would be available. In organisations in the resource and construction sector that operate 24/7, an around the clock capability is critical. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*  Read More  *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
The only way to guarantee a reliable Critical Incident response is for an EAP to have employed Psychologists on call 24/7 ready to be deployed to site, which ensures an immediate response.

It may be useful to test your EAP critical incident capability by running a mock exercise. ​*|END:IF|*
What are the Qualifications of the people providing counselling services?
EAP’s use a variety of professionals to provide counselling services, from chaplains and counsellors through to registered Psychologists. Many of these professions such as ‘counsellors’ are unregulated, therefore the quality of assistance may vary greatly. Ensuring registered Psychologists’ provide counselling services will result in an effectively trained clinician handling cases. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*  Read More  ​*|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
In the event of recourse Psychologists have a regulatory board that requires them to meet professional development criteria and abide by a code of ethics.  Counsellor’s and Chaplains are typically significantly cheaper costing around $80 an hour versus $150 - $180 per hour for a Psychologist.​*|END:IF|*

How will services be delivered?
In the mining and construction sector many employees are operating in remote locations, the ability to provide face to face services is extremely valuable and often leads to a greater uptake of EAP services.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More​*|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
In our experience the referral rate of organisation’s who have face to face access to our Psychologists in remote areas is much higher than those who rely on phone or video conferencing support. Often EAP’s do not discriminate from a cost perspective between face to face, video or telephone counselling. *|END:IF|*

What statistics or feedback will I receive about the service utilisation?
As part of any EAP agreement the client organisation should receive monthly through to annual reporting on general depersonalised usage data.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
This data covers topics such as the demographic information of those who are attending, the reason for attending, the outcomes of the therapy provided, and the impact their presentation has on work safety. This data is valuable in assisting organisations plan proactive or reactive strategies to address any potential risks or trends.*|END:IF|*

Do you have a Supervisor Support Service?
An EAP service is not only a resource for employees but for supervisors and managers. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*
Most EAP’s offer a supervisor support service whereby, a supervisor can access 24/7 expert advice on issues such as how to deal with difficult people or general mental health or fitness work issues of their workforce. Again if the expectation is for Supervisor’s to manage mental health risk, an organisation must equip them with the necessary resources.*|END:IF|*

So now you have some questions to ask your EAP provider. If you are planning on using the EAP as one of your main strategies to address mental health risk in your workplace it is imperative you have a quality intervention.  Why not test the EAP out yourself? If you would like a copy of an EAP evaluation audit tool please email me directly at
On the 27th of March Gryphon Psychology supported the annual Resource Industry Network Safety Conference. It was an informative day with a key focus on managing mental health risk in a cost effective manner. Organisation’s indicated a strong interest in resources to assist Supervisors manage Fitness for Work issues. As part of Gryphon Psychology’s EAP programs all Supervisors can access the 24/7 Supervisor Support Line for advice on managing fitness for work issues. For a copy of the Supervisor Support Brochures please click here.

Mental Health Workshop - Undertaking a Review of your Mental Health Program

On the 20th and 21st of April Gryphon Psychology hosted a free workshop for our clients Organisations on Undertaking a review of your Mental Health Program. The workshops hosted in Moranbah and Brisbane were attended by over 80 participants from the Resource, Construction and Heavy industry sectors. The workshops highlighted the key factors involved in identifying mental health risk in a workplace and provided an overview of the Gryphon Psychology Mental Health Review tool that assist’s workplaces conduct a GAP analysis to implement an effective intervention strategy.
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