Since the inception of the first Occupational Alcoholism Programme in Ireland there have been many changes. The main focus has centered on providing employee counselling. The major forthcoming change is that employment legislation will require a more compliance based approach based on prevention and risk assessment. This move will challenge EA professionals to adapt to the new reality.
EAPS Loosing Relevance
The Employee Assistance Profession in Europe has not kept pace with developments due to an overemphasis on employing counselling and is fast loosing relevance. Many mangers see employee assistance programmes as short term counselling services which are not fit for purpose or designed to provide support for mental health problems. Workers with chronic poor mental health require assessment by mental health professionals and longer term community based support and rehabilitation.
Trends in Workplace Mental Health – Now a Safety Issue
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Magazine’s March 2019 issue focused on evaluating employee assistance programmes and implementing structured wellbeing programmes. (IOSH) have taken the lead and are declaring that workplace mental health is now a safety issue and that its members are well placed to respond. IOSH is urging its members to think safety, compliance, risk assessments, and employee support therapy to address the mental health issues that are now impacting the workplace.
Three leading experts Maurice Quinlan Director of the EAP Institute Ireland, Don Jorgensen Ph.D., CEAP, USA and Finbarr Stapleton Antaris Consulting Ireland will present a ground breaking on line course on Thursday 23rd of September 2021 to outline a new direction of Employee Support Services (ESS) and Employee Support Therapy (EST) which will shape the future responses to workplace mental health.