EAPs, employee assistance programs, have been considered a frivolous health benefit by some. "Sometimes a CEO might say, `I don't understand this mental-health stuff and what it's costing us every year,'" the Charlotte Observer quoted Keith Dixon, president of Cigna Behavioral Health, one of the USA's largest EAP providers.
But that attitude seems to have disappeared since last week's catastrophes at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. "This (tragedy) will legitimize the EAP field," Dixon predicted.
"You can't have an event like this and not have an impact (on EAP business)," Andy Silberman, director of the EAP program for Duke University's employees and their dependents, was quoted.
According to the Observer, the EAP industry started 30 years ago as a resource for recovering alcoholics in the workplace, then grew more professional and began to include confidential counseling from psychologists and social workers. Services now can include childcare, referrals for substance abuse treatment and other programs to help employees.
EAPs typically cost an employer about $3 per employee per month, according to the Observer story.
To read the entire story on the Charlotte Observer's Web site, click here.
etimes tragedy is good for business, and that may be true of the EAP industry.