Front Desk

Complex Services for an Increasingly Challenged Workforce

By Maria Lund, LEAP, CEAP

As life becomes more challenging for the employees we serve, and as the workplace evolves and shifts, so too must our EA practice, our knowledge base, and our service array. This issue covers a number of emerging service needs and areas of requisite knowledge important to the quality and relevance of our work.  

In this issue’s cover story, Debbie Jongkind describes life coaching as a service worth considering for the wider employee population as a whole. While there is an overlap between counseling and coaching, the sole objective of a coach “is to help clients identify and employ their own strengths and resources to achieve …personal and professional goals.” Coaching services can be a healthy addition to our suite of EA services for our clients and for our businesses. By reading the cover story and answering a 5-item multiple choice quiz (at bit.ly/PDH_Q4JEA2019) 
you can earn one free PDH.

Providing effective service to elders and others who may need home care or assisted care presents another area for deepening our EA practices. Authors Peter Tourian and Rich Paul explain that EA professionals need to be more familiar with the populations who might benefit from such care and with the wide range of caregiving options. In addition, EA professionals are well positioned to provide important assistance and emotional support to employees who experience feelings of loneliness and isolation as they proceed through the caregiving experience.  

Death by suicide has become a global public health crisis and one that has touched most every EA professional in some way. Authors Jodi Frey, Sally Spencer-Thomas, and Amanda Mosby explain the newly introduced National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention, and present a number of key recommendations for our profession. These are key tools we can use to save lives.

Elsewhere in this issue, many EAPs are challenged to assist in instances of workplace trauma –emotional difficulties that often exist beyond an individual employee. Bryan McNutt outlines the six principles for trauma-informed care that EA professionals can use to effectively address implicit organizational trauma. 

There are also emerging complexities that come from legal and service mandates. In this issue, Tamara Cagney discusses the many changes that are occurring relative to the work of SAPs in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing regulations.

In the conclusion of a two-part article, Legal Lines columnists Robin Sheridan and Heather Mogden present important guidance about issues related to transgender support in the workplace.

Finally, technology is an increasingly vital aspect of our EA practices, and Tech Trends columnist Marina London discusses the important impact that artificial intelligence is having on mental health services.

As always, happy reading!