It’s 2021 and we still work too much, reach a point of burn-out one employee after the other, and have a hard time balancing the demands of work with the needs of our private lives. However, one good thing that’s happening within the corporate world is that companies are starting to care about the mental health of their employees.
For instance, more and more companies make sure they have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place, which one could argue signifies a proactive and preventative approach to mental health, and contributes to a culture of care amongst workers. They are the type of workplaces that aim to reach and maintain psychological well-being in their employees.
And luckily, it seems like these types of companies are becoming the norm.
With a destabilizing pandemic having changed how we work and how we conceptualize work life balance, employee care seems more essential than ever before. The global crisis has spurred on studies that show the impact of lockdown and social isolation on people’s mental health, and also what an enormous occupational challenge it presents. Psychologists warn about ‘waves’ of mental health issues and disorders we can expect as a result of an increase in risk factors linked to the pandemic, such as work-related challenges, housing and income stress, grief and loss, burnout etc.
Organisational interventions like EAPs can mitigate the development and/or worsening of mental health issues, which is why more and more companies are taking initiative to curb the surge in incidence of mental issues stemming from COVID-19 pandemic.
Before COVID, It’s Complicated didn’t have a B2B offer and wasn’t familiar with EAP offers, but in the spring of the outbreak, HR-managers and Office managers started to reach out to ask if we could help them. There was a demand that needed meeting, and it wasn’t just a question of solving structural challenges to help corporate teams thrive. On a large scale employees needed counselling, rather than fluffy wellbeing programs and perks.
With a diverse community of counsellors located all around the world, speaking more than 30 languages and covering a wide range of therapeutic orientations, we thought It’s Complicated could offer companies a suitable support service designed to provide GDPR compliant and confidential counselling to employees who are struggling. And with six partnering companies who’ve reaped the benefits of our personalized counselling offer over the past year, it seems we were right.
What are the effects of EAPs?
Sick employees cost companies a lot, and so it goes without saying that EAPs reduce corporate costs. Counselling can affect workplace variables like stress, absenteeism, presenteeism, productivity, performance, etc. and essentially create a more thriving workforce.
There are two main effects of EAPs: Prevention and growth.
We all know the saying “prevention is better than cure” and across different sectors this has long proven to be true. Investing in EAPs as prevention costs considerably less than mental health issues and their effects in the workplace, such as sick leaves, lower functioning, decreased motivation, and ultimately lost employees, as well as recruitment and training of replacements.
However, when considering an EAP, keep in mind not only prevention against the decreased performance and lost workforce, but also an intervention that fosters well-being, growth and personal development. It might even create employees who are motivated, engaged, and loyal to their companies, because their companies are loyal to them and their mental health. At least to us, that might as well be priceless.
Who should use an EAP?
We know that all people have at least some issues, and since a company depends on its people, EAPs are relevant for most workplaces. In fact, all companies and their teams go through vulnerable and difficult phases, where it makes sense to have a mental health support program in place.
As for who would benefit specifically from EAP counselling, you don’t need to have a specific problem or suffer from a certain type of symptoms. As long as you’re motivated to work through whatever you’re struggling with, and you’re ready to speak to a mental health professional, you can try out if counselling is something for you.
Life is complicated, getting help from your company shouldn’t be
We know how hard it is to find a therapist. Even in the German system, where therapy is covered by some health insurances, individuals face ardous and lengthy processes to find therapist who can take them, and going the private pay way isn’t possible for many.
This is where companies can skip the middleman of the insurance, and facilitate a process where mental health becomes accessible to anyone, regardless of their income or type of health insurance. Companies that partner with mental health platforms are investing in the wellbeing of their employees, by making the search for the right therapist easier, and removing the waiting time and costs completely.
This is what is the focus of It’s Complicated for Companies – making therapy accessible and the process for companies and their employees simple. No extra nonsense, just quality counselling.
If you happen to be an HR manager, CEO, co-founder, or just an inspired employee, check out It’s Complicated page for companies or contact us about our EAP offer at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Burdorf, A., Porru, F., & Rugulies, R. (2020). The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic: consequences for occupational health. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 46(3), 229-230.
- Carbone, S. R. (2020). Flattening the curve of mental ill-health: the importance of primary prevention in managing the mental health impacts of COVID-19.
- da Silva, A. G., Pinheiro, M., Trés, L. M., & Malloy-Diniz, L. F. (2021). Working during pandemics: the need for mental health efforts to prevent the outbreak of mental disorders at the workplace. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 43(1), 116-117.
- Giorgi, G., Lecca, L. I., Alessio, F., Finstad, G. L., Bondanini, G., Lulli, L. G., … & Mucci, N. (2020). COVID-19-related mental health effects in the workplace: a narrative review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(21), 7857.
- Hamouche, S. (2020). COVID-19 and employees’ mental health: stressors, moderators and agenda for organizational actions. Emerald Open Research, 2.