March 11, 2010

Give it a look: New EAP provider offers a variety of online tools

by Paula Van Brocklin

If you need help with a problem -- large or small -- Iowa State's employee assistance program (EAP) is a good place to start.

Since Feb. 1, ISU has contracted EAP services with a new provider, Des Moines-based Employee and Family Resources (EFR). The centerpiece of EFR's workplace programming is a web site full of resources you and your immediate family members may find useful.

The Professional and Scientific Council is planning an open forum in late April about Iowa State's new EAP provider. Mike Otis, associate director of human resource services, will present the information. Look for more details in an upcoming Inside Iowa State.

To access Iowa State's custom EAP web site, go to EFR's sign-in page, and type in ISU's code (223771). ISU's site offers information on the following services:

  • Telephone consultations: Counselors are just a phone call away -- (800) 327-4692 -- all day, every day. This is often the first step for getting help. You may call a counselor for a number of reasons, including depression, guidance for drug or alcohol use or job stress. Counselors provide emotional support and help to determine your next step.
  • In-person counseling: From depression and anxiety to money management, EFR has a network of local counselors who can assist you and your family members with a variety of issues. If additional or specialized counseling is necessary, EFR counselors also can assist with that process. There is no charge for the first three counseling sessions.
  • Achieve Solutions: Achieve Solutions is a web site with information on several topics, including depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, relationships, wellness, work/life balance, and financial and legal issues. It includes articles, interactive quizzes, depression inventories, financial calculators, resource listings and more.
  • Life coaching: Life coaching, an alternative to in-person counseling, is intended for those ready to take action in their lives. Issues can range from wellness, to time management, to job performance. It's not meant to treat serious issues, like depression or substance abuse. Life coaching includes regular telephone communication with a counselor and a private web portal. Through the web portal, you can e-mail your life coach, read recommended articles and track progress toward your goals.
  • Legal consultation: Attorneys are available to assist with a range of legal issues, including family/domestic matters, estate planning, or civil or criminal situations. An initial 30-minute consultation is free. A 25 percent discount is provided on future legal services.
  • Financial consultation: Financial experts can assist you and your family members with a number of situations, such as credit counseling, tax planning or debt/budget assistance. The initial 30-minute consultation is free.
  • Eldercare services: If you are responsible for the care of an elderly family member, EFR can put you in touch with local resources, including Meals on Wheels, long-term care facilities or in-home nursing care.
  • RealLife Solutions newsletter: This monthly online newsletter, available in both English and Spanish, covers a variety of personal and workplace issues. Recent articles include how to control credit card use and how to adjust your work style for greater career success.

Additional resources

  • Online EAP orientation: A brief overview of the EFR's EAP program. (Be patient; it may take a few minutes to download.)
  • "My Guide:" "My Guide" allows you free access to the My Plan After 50 (MPAF) web portal. MPAF offers holistic life and nonfinancial pre-retirement planning services to individuals of any age. You can take a life-planning assessment using a self-guided workbook to create a personal mission statement and life plan. Additional benefits include e-learning communities, webinars and an interactive blog. Click here to sign up for "My Guide."
  • Management tools: Supervisors need a special sign-in code to access this section. To get the code, log on to AccessPlus, go to the uBusiness tab and click on "Link to HR" in the left column. If you do not have access to this link, contact the Human Resource Services Service Center at 4-4800.