What is an EAP and Why Is It Important?

Sometimes life throws a lot at you, like major life changes, work challenges or health issues. And if you’re struggling with substance misuse, you may not know where to turn. When you need guidance and support but don’t want to risk your job, EAPs are there to help.   So what is an EAP, and why is it important? It’s a valuable support benefit you may have through your job, but many people don’t know much about it or how to use it. Here we’ll review how you can use your EAP program to get support for substance misuse and other issues. You’ll also understand why employers offer it and how to protect your privacy.  

What is an EAP?

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) offer free or low-cost support services for employees. It may include brief counseling for personal and workplace issues and references to local services. You can also get support for grief, substance misuse, depression or emergencies. Employee assistance programs also help people find financial support services.   Some workplaces create in-house EAP programs, and others help employees through an external service. Either way, EAPs are there to support you as a person and a team member.    

How can these programs help? 

An EAP program is a valuable part of your work benefits, but you may not use it if you don’t know how it works. Here’s more about how EAP programs can help.

  • You can find resources and services quickly.
  • You can get practical short-term solutions for quick improvement.
  • EAP services are usually free or at a very low cost. Services are affordable so that you can get help right away. 
  • EAP care programs make the connection between work and personal life. They acknowledge that people have value outside of their job roles. And when personal issues go unaddressed, they can hurt productivity. 
  • Workplaces want to keep valuable employees so that the business remains stable and productive. One way to achieve this is to support employees with EAP programs, creating a win-win situation for several reasons.
  • Employee turnover is reduced
  • Employee behaviors like punctuality and skill development improve.
  • The supportive environment improves employees’ quality of life.


How can you confidentially ask about an EAP program? 

Confidentiality is vital for EAP programs, and employees will only feel comfortable reaching out if their concerns can stay private. Here’s how to learn more about EAP services while protecting your privacy.

  • Some EAP programs offer a secure email or messaging system. Other programs have a dedicated phone line where you can speak anonymously with someone. 
  • Look through your benefits information. Ask your human resource team about everything included in your benefits package. You may find EAP information there without having to ask directly about it. 
  • Make a call from home or on a midday break from your personal phone. 
  • Speak to a trusted coworker about your EAP program. You can learn more about services and get support from someone you know. 


Offering help and support

If you don’t know much about your employee assistance program at work, take time to learn more. When you’re struggling, you can get the help you need quickly. This can make all the difference when you’re coping with something like substance misuse. To learn more about addiction treatment and our locations, contact P.A.T.H. at 1-713-528-3709. We’re here to help.

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