Jan. 7, 2010

New provider selected for employee assistance program

by Paula Van Brocklin

Beginning Feb. 1, Employee and Family Resources (EFR), Des Moines, will become Iowa State's new employee assistance program (EAP) provider. ISU has been contracting EAP services through The Richmond Center in Ames.

Beginning Feb. 1, call EFR at (800) 327-4692 for employee assistance. Or, see the HRS web site for more information.

The Richmond Center offers only one-on-one counseling services. And while counseling is important, human resource services staff decided ISU employees need access to additional resources.

"We were looking for more tools for employees than what we currently had available," said Mike Otis, associate director of HRS.

Web-based information, eldercare support, legal consultation and financial management are just some of the services EFR can provide employees.

"They have a great web site, a lot of online resources," Otis said. "They also have resources for supervisors to help them with their relationships with employees."

Counseling still important

In addition to its other resources, EFR also provides one-on-one counseling services through a statewide counseling network. There are 23 EFR counselors in the Ames/Des Moines area alone. Iowa State offers employees and their dependents three free counseling sessions each year.

Employees who are in the middle of their counseling sessions with a counselor from The Richmond Center may continue seeing the same therapist after Feb. 1. The Richmond Center will assist these employees with the transition to EFR.

"It will be a great new service for employees," Otis said. "We're not giving up anything; we're getting a lot more."