November 10, 2021

Understanding the Employee Assistance Program

Understanding the Employee Assistance Program

You may have Employee Assistance Program (EAP) coverage through your workplace health plan, but what does this coverage actually entail? And how do you get the most out of it? We talked to Jodie Voth, program services coordinator with Manitoba Blue Cross’s EAP, to learn more.  

What services does EAP offer?

“Employee Assistance Program services support employees’ mental, emotional and physical well-being. EAP services include supports for the employee, including individual, couple and family counselling and wellness workshops. They also include organizational services like group debriefings and leader consultation, among others.”

What are some common reasons people seek help?

“Couple counselling, stress management and symptoms of anxiety or depression are typically the most requested services. However, we also help people with a variety of work issues – time management, interpersonal relationships, career planning, for example – as well as the whole spectrum of personal concerns from parenting to addictions management to caregiver support.”

What do you want people to know about the EAP?

“Our counsellors are highly trained and experienced clinicians, with a minimum of a master's degree (completed) and five years of clinical experience. The average number of years of experience among our clinician group is over 15 years. A skilled and knowledgeable clinician will be assigned based on the client’s needs and wants.  

And while our EAP is known for counselling services, our organizational services are second-to-none and a key part of our core offerings that support both organizations and the individuals within them.”

What makes Manitoba Blue Cross’s EAP different?

“We’re Manitoban. We believe that Manitoba has a unique culture and being located here in the province means we’re attuned to what’s going on for our clients and members. The leaders, staff and counsellors within our program live here, many of us were born and raised here, and we all have deep connections to our communities.

We know this results in a better experience for clients in every step of the process, whether it’s as simple as knowing how to pronounce The Pas or Lagimodière, or reading the same newspaper and being in the loop on the stories that are significant to Manitobans.”

What’s new within EAP?

We just released our new online learning program, Developing Healthy Couple Relationships, for everyone with EAP or Individual Assistance Program (IAP) coverage. (Learn more about the program in our recent blog post here.) Earlier this year, we launched Soul Nourishment, a yoga, meditation and mudra program, intended to make useful calming and grounding strategies accessible to help ease the stresses of the pandemic. The past year and a half also saw us add online options to many of our offerings, while incorporating additional services to meet pandemic-related needs. When we begin to meet more clients in person, our online services will remain an option.    

Get support through Manitoba Blue Cross’s EAP

If you need assistance, our EAP team is here to help:

Phone:

204.786.8880

1.800.590.5553 (toll free)

Online

Counsellor Connect (Complete intake and request initial appointment.)

To check if you have EAP coverage, login to mybluecross®.

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