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Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and Wellness Programs - The difference between problem-solving and prevention

EAP's have been around since at least the 1940's and were originally focused on helping employees with alcohol problems. Through the years these programs evolved and expanded to also include assisting employees with mental and relational issues. Today it is estimated that 97% of companies with more than 5,000 employees, 80% of companies with 1,001-5,000 employees and 75% of companies with 251-1,000 employees offer an EAP. However, these programs go heavily unused for a variety of reasons. This leads many companies to search for alternative solutions like wellness programs. But this should not be an either-or situation. Both services serve specific purposes and resonate with your employees on different levels.

First, we must fully understand the purpose of each program. EAP's are designed to help employees with existing issues. These programs provide counseling services for topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, relational problems and mental health issues. By providing counseling...

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