Avera’s Employee Assistance Program reaches 80,000

This piece is brought to you by Avera Health.

Here’s how large and well-received the employee assistance program from Avera Health has become: The number of people covered by it would represent the second-largest city in South Dakota.

Avera EAP, in addition to being offered to all of the health system’s employees, contracts with 150 employers. In total, Avera EAP serves worksites in 35 states. A nationwide network of providers makes it possible to offer services including:

  • Counseling sessions for individuals, couples and families.
  • Substance abuse services.
  • Consultations for managers and leaders.
  • Leadership training and development.
  • Employee wellness and engagement training.
  • Onsite critical incidence response in the case of a workplace crisis such as an accident, death, violence or layoffs.
  • Conflict mediation.
  • Executive coaching.

Through the EAP, employees, their spouses and eligible dependents benefit from having access to confidential counseling services at no cost to them. By reducing the typical barriers to receiving care – and making behavioral health care convenient, private and free to employees – EAP services make it that much easier for employees to reach out and receive the help they need.

“We listen and help employees build strategies for how to thrive with life’s challenges,” said Mary Wolf, Avera EAP program director. “We see EAP as a tool not only for crises but also for those day-to-day issues where it’s beneficial to have a confidential, objective professional to offer tools and perspective.”

The tools, once put in use, can have significant effects. In addition to enhancing employee well-being and productivity, EAP programs have been shown to positively impact the bottom line. One study from the U.S. Department of Labor found that companies that provide an EAP program see an average annual return of up to $17 per $1 invested in productivity improvements for each employee.

Virtual visits for employee assistance

Avera EAP’s counseling services also are available from the convenience of a smartphone, laptop or tablet via the AveraNow mobile app. This virtual visit technology allows people to connect with a provider 24/7 without making an appointment.

“Many people don’t want to go to a traditional office visit, and AveraNow makes it quick, and it remains confidential – you can literally see a therapist when and where it’s convenient,” Wolf said. “With AveraNow, we hope more people will see EAP as the starting point it is. It can lead to positive change that affects generations to come.”

To learn more visit Avera.org/eap or call 605-322-4069.

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Avera’s Employee Assistance Program reaches 80,000

Here’s how large and well-received the employee assistance program from Avera Health has become: the number of people covered by it would represent the second largest city in South Dakota.

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