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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Dec. 7, 2007

EAP can help in times of need

by Paula Van Brocklin

For many, the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. But for others, the holidays can trigger depression, anxiety, even addiction.

Iowa State's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help employees and their family members cope with a range of emotional and behavioral problems, often magnified this time of year. Grief is one example.

"A lot of people experience a loss they have had in their life all over again," said Annie Armknecht, executive director of The Richmond Center, which coordinates the EAP. "When you've had the loss of a family member, all those traditions come rushing back to the forefront."

When personal problems begin to impact job performance, employees are encouraged to seek professional help through the EAP.

"We all know that sometimes personal issues can negatively impact our performance at work, our happiness and quality of life," said Terry Mason, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of the student counseling service. "It's great to have a service such as the ISU EAP available to help employees deal with some of the problems that they are finding difficult to handle."

Benefit services

All ISU benefit-eligible employees and their family members are eligible for EAP benefits, which includes three free counseling sessions. Employees are financially responsible for additional sessions.

The Richmond Center serves employees in Story, Boone, Carroll and Greene counties. ISU employees outside those areas who need assistance should contact the center, and the staff will connect them with resources in their area.

All EAP services are kept confidential. Employees may use accrued sick leave to attend EAP counseling sessions.

The Richmond Center

The Richmond Center, a community-based behavioral health care provider in Ames, has served ISU faculty and staff for 10 years. Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, registered nurses and a nurse practitioner at the center can help people with a multitude of issues in addition to emotional problems, including divorce, bankruptcy, gambling or anger management.

Armknecht said one of the greatest services they provide clients is hope.

"If we can create hope, we can change lives," she said.

For more information on EAP, go online or call The Richmond Center at 232-5811 or (800) 830-7009.


Richmond Center open house

The Richmond Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Story County this year with a public open house Dec. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the center, 125 S. Third St. in Ames.