The value of an Employee Assistance Program

Jul 30, 2015

As well as providing confidential counselling and support, EAPs can help organisations adopt a more proactive, preventative approach to workplace mental health.

For many businesses, an EAP is a central plank in their strategy for their people’s wellbeing. For others, it's something they consider in the aftermath of a tragic event – the Germanwings crash earlier this year, or a high-profile suicide, for example. But as this Huffington Post article points out, businesses that see employee wellbeing programs as a tool to limit their liability are missing out.

“Offering mental health assistance to hedge against disaster and litigation is sort of like buying an iPhone because it makes great phone calls,” says Dean Debnam, CEO of the global employee wellness consultancy Workplace Options. “Yes, it can do what you're asking it to do. But what you're buying can also do a whole lot more.

“The real reason why businesses need these programs is two-fold. They provide qualified help to employees that need it - and they can help employers gain back a percentage of the working days that are currently being lost to mental illness.”

Improving productivity, reducing absenteeism

By focusing on productivity gains as opposed to damage limitation, organisations get a sense of the true value of mentally healthy workplaces.

Given that untreated mental health conditions result in over 6 million lost working days and 12 million days of reduced productivity every year in Australia, providing access to professional support through an EAP can help people experiencing anxiety or depression to stay at or return to work – with clear benefits to the organisation’s bottom line.

A confidential counselling service can also help employees resolve issues and stress before they become overwhelming. 

Find out more

  • Read more about the business case for creating a mentally healthy workplace
  • While smaller organisations may not have the resources to provide an EAP, there are a range of things business owners can do to support employees. Learn more  


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