Counselling sessions offered to workers via employee assistance programmes (EAPs) can help to reduce absence levels and improve colleague relationships, according to research published today.
A survey carried out by EAP provider First Assist, part of the Capita group, found that more than half (52%) of people who had received counselling sessions through their EAPs said they would have missed work if they hadn’t received the help.
In addition to this, while only 17% of respondents felt that their ability to cope with the demands of their job was “good” or “very good” before they had counselling, this increased to 64% after the counselling.
The results of the research, which surveyed more than 4,000 employees, also highlighted the benefits of counselling on workers’ personal lives as well as their working lives.
Only 9% said that satisfaction with their personal life was “good” or “very good” before counselling, compared with 57% saying the same thing afterwards. Relationships with colleagues were also improved, with 23% saying that they were either “poor” or “very poor” before, as opposed to only 2% afterwards.
Andrea Waller, First Assist managing director, commented on the findings: “All the wider evidence shows that mental health issues are on the rise. Anxiety and depression can have a serious effect on all areas of a person’s life, including their work. By cultivating an open and supportive working environment, including access to confidential counselling services as part of a comprehensive health and wellbeing approach, employers can work with employees to help them overcome their issues, which in turn will result in a more productive and loyal workforce.”