The Facts – Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Mental Health & Disability Claims

May 03 | 2018

According to Mental Health Canada, one in five Canadians will be directly affected by a mental illness in a given year. What this means for employers is that the odds an employee is fighting a mental illness are increasing, and so are the odds this battle may lead to an extended leave of absence.

The Value of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)s

We’ve already written a blog post on the value of EAPs, so we won’t spend too long on the subject here. EAPs help employees through a variety of issues like stress, anxiety, and depression and can solve problems before they turn into absences from work or costly disability claims. And that’s where Arete® HR Inc.’s new research comes in.

New Research from EAP Provider Arete® HR Inc.

Arete® HR Inc. (Arete®) has released a new study which demonstrates a direct link between use of an EAP and the reduced likelihood of disability claims, and prescription drug and paramedical costs.

What does this mean? For employers, it could mean reduced costs as a result of a short- or long-term disability claim, as well as healthier, happier, and more productive employees. Through an EAP, employees can access the resources they need to preemptively resolve an issue or problem before it gets worse.

Arete® Study Results and Highlights

The Arete® study compared the outcomes between two groups: a group of EAP users who identified as achieving problem resolution (EAP Resolution Group), and a similar group of EAP users who identified as not achieving problem resolution (EAP No Resolution Group). Here’s what they found:

  • Employees in the EAP No Resolution group were 3.3 times more likely to make a long-term disability claim in the 12-month period following initial access to the program relative to those in the EAP Resolution Group.
  • Employees in the EAP Resolution Group had significantly reduced prescription drug claim costs in the year following program access compared to the No Resolution Group.
  • Although more study is warranted, there was a positive correlation between the degree of problem resolution and the number of counselling sessions.

This study is just the tip of the iceberg. EAPs provide support for Canadians for all manner of issues, including mental health difficulties such as stress, anxiety and depression. Employers looking to better the overall health and happiness of their employees can take a step in the right direction by including an EAP program in their benefits program. As the Arete® study has shown, there is a correlation between reduced likelihood of disability claims, and whether or not an EAP program is in place, and being utilized.

For more information, download the Arete® research study summary!

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