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HRE’s number of the day: EAP awareness

Although the vast majority of HR pros say they offer employee assistance programs, nearly half of workers say their employer doesn’t offer one.
By: | May 11, 2020 • 1 min read


46%: Employees who say their employer doesn’t offer an EAP or are unsure if they do

While the vast majority (93%) of HR professionals say they offer an employee assistance program, nearly half of workers say their employer doesn’t offer an EAP or are unsure if they do, according to new research out from benefits provider Unum. Unum surveyed 1,210 working U.S. adults in mid-March, just as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold domestically.

What it means to HR leaders

The number represents a big flaw in workplace mental health coverage: a disconnect in what employers  offer and what employees think they offer. As a growing number of employees look for mental health support—especially as the coronavirus pandemic results in even more stress—HR leaders need to step up to communicate and remind employees about the resources that are available to them and walk them through how to access them. It’s all the more important in this moment in time, experts say.

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“Awareness, education, and early intervention are important components of the adoption of mental health benefits and resources,” says Laurie Mitchell, assistant vice president of global wellbeing and health at Unum. “Most EAPs offer a set of counseling sessions free of charge, access to app-based mental health tools, and other self-directed resources.”

For a deep dive into mental health coverage in the workplace, read: “Will COVID finally make employers fix their mental health problem?”

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.

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