Firms Find Savings in Employee Assistance Programs

By Porter, Sylvia | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 16, 1990 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Firms Find Savings in Employee Assistance Programs



Do you need help with a financial, legal, domestic or mental health problem?

Concerned about drug addiction, your career, alcoholism, adoption, AIDS, day care, dependent care, hyperactive children, stress, gambling, grief due to a death, marital relations and the like?

Until recently, these concerns were considered personal problems that belonged outside the workplace. Now, however, more than one-third of the nation's workers can dial a number for employer-paid, confidential counseling and referral services, says Richard Bickerton of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association of Arlington, Va.

Early on, when employee assistance programs came on the scene, they dealt only with alcoholism problems. Now employee assistance programs provide help on virtually anything that affects your performance on the job. Employers use these services because it's good business; they want their employees to overcome their problems and remain productive.

``A comprehensive service that costs employers only $2 to $3 per month per employee lowers insurance costs and reduces absenteeism, accidents and turnover,'' says Jesse Bernstein, president of Employee Assistance Associates Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.

``Traditional employee benefits programs cover physical illness and disabilities, but few offer comprehensive mental health or help with other contemporary life-management concerns,'' says Ronald Moreland of Managed Health Network of Los Angeles.

Moreland believes the onset of recession in the U.S. economy ``will impose an increasing feeling of uncertainty on employees,'' making a confidential source of help even more essential.

Employers are promoting use of their employee assistance programs to their employees because they want to have small problems dealt with before they become big problems. ``It's far better for a parent to ask for help with a difficult 2-year-old than to have to call years later when the child is a teen-ager who has been arrested,'' Bernstein says.

Companies find that when employees use an employee assistance program early, while the problem is still manageable, there are fewer referrals that require use of benefits. At Employee Assistance Associates, whose programs promote calling its counselors early, only about half of the calls to counselors requires the use of benefits; the other half requires only talking with the counselor or getting a referral that doesn't require benefits.

Bernstein says that the seriousness and range of a company president's personal problems often determine whether or not an employee assistance program is established and what range of services is offered.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Firms Find Savings in Employee Assistance Programs


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?