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Is your municipality or organization a member of the Employee Assistance Program?

By Sheila Miller

Employee Assistance Programs, or an EAP for short, are a tremendous resource for employers of all sizes. An EAP assists employees with a variety of life problems. Employees who are distracted by personal problems may not perform as safely, effectively or productively as normal. For most groups, the common issue for which employees or their family members seek assistance is psychological concerns such as stress, anxiety and depression. Typically the next most common reason people seek assistance is for family problems or conflicts. Although many people think that the EAP deals with a lot of drug or alcohol related issues that usually represent less than five percent of all EAP services.

In addition to the traditional “counseling” service offered by the EAP, “work-life” services are an increasingly valuable component of the EAP package. The work-life program helps people with a host of educational and resource assistance. The EAP work-life program provides assistance to those seeking childcare as well as elder care resources and services. There are thousands of articles, assessments, including health risk assessments, legal and financial resources available on the EAP’s work-life web site. The work-life site also offers access to 17 different on-line skill builders. These are short educational programs useful to people in the workplace setting.

All of these EAP services are available to employees and their dependents at no cost.

Employee Resource Systems (ERS) is the vender of our EAP. ERS is a Chicago, Illinois based provider of EAP, work-life and training services. The company has been in business for over 20 years and has been very responsive to our needs and provides excellent service. ERS’ counselors have a minimum of five years of experience, hold a Master’s degree within the mental health field, and are licensed. In addition, ERS maintains a national provider & affiliate network composed of counseling professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage & family therapists and counselors.

The association has negotiated to provide additional benefits including 30 hours of education/ training which can be tailored to the needs of the member organization.

If your municipality is not currently a member of the Employee Assistance Program and you would like more information, please contact Ms. Sheila Miller at 922-4679 or via email

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