Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

The well being of your employees matters.

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The well being of your employees matters.

Our comprehensive set of behavioral health solutions helps you recruit, engage and retain happy, healthy and productive employees to improve organizational well being.

Why offer a VITAL WorkLife EAP?

  • We have a national network of over 62,000 consultants who have master’s or doctorate level degrees.
  • We offer face-to-face counseling as well as in the moment counseling support for employees and their family members.
  • We provide specialized support for nurses and educators, with Nurse Peer Coaching and Educator Peer Coaching resources
  • We include Performance Based Referrals, Chemical Assessment Referrals, Return to Work coaching, case support, engagement reports and promotional materials.

Comprehensive support to help employees, families and organizations be their best.

Click below to learn about resources available in the VITAL WorkLife EAP.

Click below to learn about our EAP resources

Unlimited phone consultations anytime, day or night

Call anytime to speak with a master’s level counselor over the phone.

Face-to-face counseling sessions

Available for you and your family members from our national network of counselors.

Legal Services

Legal Advice: Free advice over the phone, generally within one business day. Most people do not want or need to retain an attorney; get the advice you need now.

Local Referral: In-person referrals available to those who likely need to retain an attorney. Get started with a free half-hour consultation with a local lawyer. In most instances, a 25% discount off hourly fees applies if additional assistance is needed.

Financial Services

Unlimited, free and confidential phone consultation with one of our financial counselors can help you find possible causes and solutions to your financial problems. There are many options to consider regarding how to best address financial questions and concerns or manage your debt.

Identity Theft Prevention and Support

A comprehensive identity theft packet is available on request. The contents include information on preventing identity theft as well as the excellent 68-page brochure from the Federal Trade Commission, Taking Charge: What to Do If Your Identity Is Stolen.

Online Resources

  • Well being articles: Hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics available on our blog at VITALWorkLife.com, just click on Insights.
  • Member Website: Your member website is an online portal allowing you to access detailed benefit information and a wealth of online resources.
  • Online Work & Life resources: A comprehensive library of support topics including parenting, wellness, career development, consumer tips and more. Click on topics in the category menu to begin exploring this library of informative and valuable articles, assessments, audio files, calculators, checklists, glossaries and resource links.
  • Online Seminars: On-demand learning on a wide range of topics; browse topics by logging on and selecting Online Seminars from the member homepage.
  • eLearning Courses: On-demand training on many topics. These eLearning Courses can be completed in 15-20 minutes, include a visual presentation, brief online quiz and a printable certificate of completion. Log on and click the plus sign in the eLearning box on the member homepage.
  • Online Legal & Financial Resources: Unlimited access to a wealth of financial and legal resources right here on your member website. You'll find tip sheets, calculators, handbooks, online seminars, worksheets, checklists, legal forms and more. Log on and click the Legal/Financial button under Centers to begin exploring resources.

VITAL WorkLife offers Nurse Peer Coaching as part of our EAP solutions. Nurse Peer Coaching provides confidential, one-on-one, telephonic peer coaching for nurses with a compassionate listener who understands the enormity of the work, life and family challenges they face — and has walked in their shoes. A nurse peer coach can be a confidential and knowledgeable sounding board for discussing concerns, such as:

  • Unusual levels of stress or anxiety
  • “Horizontal hostility” or bullying from other nurses or staff
  • Grief and Loss
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Balancing work and family responsibilities

In addition to being Registered Nurses, our Nurse Peer Coaches are also, teachers, licensed therapists, counselors and coaches. They have extensive clinical experience in a variety of settings allowing them to understand, support and advise nurses in almost any situation.

Learn more about our Nurse Peer Coaches here.

VITAL WorkLife offers Educator Peer Coaching as part of our EAP solutions. An Educator Peer Coach is a confidential, knowledgeable sounding board for discussing concerns, such as:

  • High levels of stress and low levels of autonomy
  • Improving time management skills
  • Negative feedback from leadership, peers, parents or other staff
  • Difficulty balancing the demands of family and work responsibilities

Our Educator Peer Coaches are PhD and master's level counselors, therapists, licensed teachers, coaches and consultants, all with deep experience and expertise in education and family counseling. Our Educator Peer Coaches have worked in traditional and special education classrooms, in inner-city schools, in post-secondary education, been school board members and more. With their robust and thorough experiences, our Educator Peer Coaches truly understand what teachers today are going through, and can provide confidential and professional support for their concerns and professional development.

 Learn more about our Educator Peer Coaches here.

Proactive Return to Work CoachingOrganizational Consulting

We don’t wait for the phone to ring.

In their “Survey on the Total Financial Impact of Employee Absences,” Mercer-Kronos found that employee absences can cost an employer the equivalent of 35% of payroll in direct and indirect costs. Other reported impacts included:

  • Additions to workload (90%)
  • Disruptions to the work of others (80%)
  • Increases in stress (78%)
  • Negative effect on morale (68%)
  • Reduced quality of work output (59%)

So, it’s no surprise that getting employees back to work soon — and productively — is a primary goal for most employers.

That’s why VITAL WorkLife developed a proactive, comprehensive Return to Work Coaching program with the goal of getting employees back to work sooner by taking an integrated approach to the issues and barriers — psychosocial, work-related, financial and more — surrounding the reason for their absence. Once employees return, we address the issues that may cause employees to be distracted and less productive to help prevent additional absences and “presenteeism.”

The program is easy to use and access. All a manager needs to do is explain the program to the employee and obtain a signed release. VITAL WorkLife will assign an experienced Return to Work counselor to the case. Working closely with the employee, the counselor will develop a comprehensive return to work plan that may include:

  • Counseling support related to issues surrounding their leave and return to work-specific issues
  • Referrals to EAP services for the employee or affected family members related to identified issues such as marital and relationship challenges, family and work-related concerns, legal and financial problems, chemical dependency and other mental and behavioral health issues
  • Coordination with disability and workers’ comp case managers or medical providers (with employee permission)
  • Consultation and collaboration with employer representatives regarding requested accommodations and other workplace issues

The counselor remains involved until the employee returns to work, regains productivity or another mutually agreed-upon outcome is achieved.

Return to Work Coaching is included in some VITAL WorkLife EAP plans. Please Contact Us with any questions or for additional information.

VITAL WorkLife offers additional resources to assist managers and supervisors in their roles, including:

  • Unlimited management consultations
  • Assistance making formal referrals, including Performance Based Referrals and Chemical Use Assessments
  • An EAP Resource Site with on-demand engagement tools, program information and training resources

Dedicated account management team who provides best practice guidelines and aggregate engagement reporting to help organizations maximize their investment in employees and drive productivity.

Download our EAP Fact Sheet

Employee Assistance Program

More information about EAPs

Why Offer An EAPWhen employees get sick, you expect them to visit their doctor — and you probably provide insurance for that purpose. On the other hand, when your employees are facing emotional, relationship, family, legal or financial problems, what do you do?

A well-designed Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a proactive business tool that can help your employees face and overcome life’s challenges — while at the same time reducing absenteeism, increasing retention, saving money, controlling costs and increasing employee productivity.

At VITAL WorkLife, we also make in-depth behavioral expertise available to your organization’s management and line supervisors in order to help you strengthen your leadership, enhance your work environment and grow your business.

Mental and Behavioral Health Issues: Estimating the Prevalence and Costs

Left undiagnosed and untreated, mental illness has a significant negative impact on workplace productivity. Here are just a few of the statistics:

  • Approximately 11 million U.S. adults (4.8 percent) had serious mental illness (SMI) in 2009
  • One in five workers suffer from a mental illness such as depression or anxiety and these conditions increasingly affect productivity in the workplace as many struggle to cope (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011)
  • The cost of depression to U.S. employers is more than $44 billion each year in lost productivity — 81 percent due to reduced performance while at work. (World Health Organization, 2012)
  • In 2011, 15% of disabled workers receiving Social Security Benefits fell in the “mood disorder” diagnostic group — second only to skeletal muscular disorders (29%)
  • Mental illness alone will account for 35% of the global lost output over the next two decades (Harvard School of Public Health, 2011)
  • When the depression is co-morbid with another disabling condition, disability durations are 30% longer than the control group. (Integrated Benefits Institute, 2009)

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that as many as 8.4 hours are lost per employee per week as a result of major depression. That’s 26 lost work days per year, versus 17 days for cancer. When depression is effectively treated, absenteeism is reduced 12 days per year.

Additionally, more than one quarter of adults with serious mental illness also had co-occurring substance dependence or abuse in 2009. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control released a study on the costs of alcohol abuse in 2006. It revealed:

  • Total annual costs of $223.5 billion
  • More than 72% of those costs were attributed to lost productivity
  • Costs associated with alcohol-related illnesses were 11%

Quantifying the Value of EAP Services: Reduced Costs & Improved Lives

Given the size of the problem, how much can an EAP help? Here’s what studies indicate:

  • Counseling interventions have been found to reduce absence rates in clients by up to 60% (John McLeod, 2010)
  • In another study, heavy drinking (i.e., having five or more drinks on the same occasion, on 5 or more days in the past month) declined by about one half and the number of work-related problem areas declined by one third among young restaurant workers who participated in a program for prevention and early intervention. (Broome and Bennett, 2011)

EAPs can play a critical role in helping families cope with mental health issues, by providing employees and their families a readily accessible, confidential, no-cost professional support system.

According to research from the Department of Health and Human Resources, companies with EAPs in place have, on average, 21% lower rates of absenteeism and 14% higher productivity rates.

And, in a landmark study, the Northwestern National Life Insurance Company noted, “Providing an Employee Assistance Program is one of the top ten actions an organization can take to reduce the potential for workplace violence.”

In a randomized, controlled trial of its Work and Health Initiative (WHI) program conducted by the State of Maine in 2011, 79 state employees were screened for depression and at-work limitations. Participants who agreed to participate in the 8-week program were provided with multi-component work-focused care that included weekly counseling over the phone.

Findings published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine indicate that the WHI program has had moderate to large positive effects on multiple indicators of functioning including:

  • At-work performance
  • At-work productivity loss
  • Work absences
  • Productivity loss due to missed work time

In addition to having a large effect on depression symptom severity, the WHI has also produced productivity cost savings of $6041.70 per participant annually.

In “The EAP Buyer’s Guide,” created for the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, Donald G. Jorgensen, PhD, CEAP, describes how EAPs have demonstrated their effectiveness at the following companies:

  • Chevron has recognized savings of $50,000 per case from reduced turnover due to EAP use. Chevron also reported, “Employee performance improved 50% following a supervisor referral to the EAP.”
  • An Abbott Laboratories study reported a 6-to-1 return on dollars spent for the EAP, and noted that the average employee who utilized the EAP spent $10,000 less for inpatient medical costs than employees who didn’t use EAP services over a three-year period.
  • Virginia Power reported a 23% reduction in medical costs for employees using the EAP.
  • Campbell Soup Company saved 28% in mental health costs using its EAP.

At Caterpillar Inc., the company’s use of intensive case management and EAP intervention:

  • Reduced the number of psychiatric disability cases by 29%
  • Decreased the proportion of disability cases for psychiatric conditions from 33% to 8.1% (management employees)
  • Reduced the average lost work time for psychiatric disability 44% — from 58 to 32.6 days per case

Caterpillar’s total projected cost savings in 18 months equated to $3,575,349.

EAP 101

An Employee Benefit So Smart It Can Pay For Itself

An Employee Assistance Program is a comprehensive set of services designed to help your employees meet life’s challenges face to face — typically involving everything from dealing with depression and stress, to chemical dependency and marital counseling for your employees, to coaching and support for your organization’s managers. Why is that important?

  • The World Economic Forum estimates the annual global cost of mental illness at nearly $2.5 trillion (with two-thirds of that in indirect costs) today — with a projected increase to over $6 trillion by 2030.
  • The National Mental Health Association calculates that “presenteeism” — showing up for work but being less productive — costs more than $200 billion annually in the United States.
  • Depression and anxiety are among the top five reasons for absenteeism and presenteeism (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2009)
  • Individuals who report feeling depressed even just one or two days a week not only show higher rates of absenteeism and productivity impairment, but can cause a $3,500 loss per employee per year in terms of lost productivity (HealthMedia, 2010)

In the more than 35 years since EAPs were first widely introduced, they have more than proven their ability to improve productivity and reduce costs. According to a 2012 survey by Towers Watson, companies with highly effective health and productivity programs report:

  • Industry-adjusted average revenues per employee that are 40% higher than for low-effectiveness companies, a difference of $132,000 per employee.
  • A differential in annual healthcare costs of more than $1,000 per employee among U.S. respondents
  • Fewer lost days due to unplanned absences and disability — which, when combined with savings on healthcare costs, can increase a typical company’s benefit savings by considerably more than 30%

In a survey published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2012, 67.9% of employers ranked use of EAPs as the most significant program element for their return to work effort.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, for every dollar that is invested in an EAP, businesses see a return of anywhere from $5 to $16.