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Frequently Asked Questions Work Life

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.  EAPs address a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.  EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs.  Many EAPs are active in helping organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations.  To find your agency’s EAP administrator, use the work/life contact tool is available at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx.
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  • Each Federal agency administers its own Employee Assistance Program (EAP); therefore, you will need to contact your agency’s EAP administrator in order to participate.  A searchable database of agency work/life contacts is available at: http://apps.opm.gov/CCLContact/index.aspx.
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  • Under 42 CFR Part 2, any instances of suspected child abuse and neglect must be reported to appropriate State or local authorities. Also, when a client commits, or threatens to commit, a crime that would harm someone else or cause substantial property damage, law enforcement personnel must be informed.
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  • Information about your discussions with the EAP cannot be disclosed without your permission. There are regulations (42 CFR Part 2) that require confidentiality, and they provide penalties for unlawful or unauthorized release of information.  However, there may be instances where it will be in an employee's best interests to sign a release of information, e.g., when an employee is seeking accommodation for a certain physical or emotional problem. Another example might be when an employee is involved in a potential disciplinary situation and wishes to show management his or her sincerity in seeking assistance with the problem. Based on this information regarding an employee's involvement in the EAP, a supervisor might decide to hold any disciplinary action in abeyance pending a positive change in the employee's performance or conduct. Under 42 CFR Part 2, any instances of suspected child abuse and neglect must be reported to appropriate State or local authorities. Also, when a client commits, or threatens to commit, a crime that would harm someone else or cause substantial property damage, law enforcement personnel must be informed. More information about confidentiality and EAPs can be found at: http://www.opm.gov/Employment_and_Benefits/WorkLife/OfficialDocuments/HandbooksGuides/Confidentiality_EAP/index.asp.
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  • There is no cost to employees who receive counseling and other services provided by the agency's EAP.  Costs for outside treatment and professional services, which can result in personal expense, may be covered by your Federal Employee Health Benefits plan or private insurance. The EAP counselor will work with you to identify the best available outside treatment program and services in line with your individual finances.
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