What is an EFAP and is it for me?

June 12, 2018 ATA Member Services

Employee and family assistance programs help employees and their families

An employee and family assistance program (EFAP) is a service designed to assist employees who are experiencing personal and job-related problems that affect work performance, general health and well-being.

An EFAP provides problem identification and assessment, consultative advice and referral to appropriate agencies, and the promotion of wellness through various programs and activities. Employee participation is voluntary and this added benefit is part of your health benefits plan that may also be extended to family members. Programs are open-ended and comprehensive and emphasize individual welfare.

Why have an EFAP?

Each of us faces a variety of challenges and problems in our daily lives. While most difficulties can be resolved personally, some problems persist over a period of time, either constantly or intermittently. When these problems become too much to handle, they can affect personal happiness, family relations, performance at work and general health. Help in dealing with these problems can result in higher job satisfaction and performance, increased self-esteem, improved personal and interpersonal relationships, better coping skills and reduced sick leave.

What kinds of problems will an EFAP deal with?

Problems for which an employee assistance program can be effective include

  • physical and emotional illness,
  • marital and family difficulties,
  • drug and alcohol abuse,
  • financial problems,
  • grief and bereavement,
  • career concerns and job dissatisfaction,
  • distress and
  • harassment.

Early identification is the key for an effective EFAP. Serious problems do not go away by themselves and the services offered by EFAPs are a good starting point to deal with challenges you may experience in life.

Who pays for EFAP services?

Depending on your benefit package, the program is either sponsored by the Alberta School Employee Benefit Program (ASEBP) in conjunction with their extended disability benefit, by the school board directly or by using another benefit provider. EFAPs do not replace current benefit coverage. Extended health-care benefits can be accessed when more or additional services are necessary.

Members covered by an EFAP through ASEBP (provided by Homewood Health) can find more information at www.asebp.ab.ca or from their benefit provider. ❚

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