UTS’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is changing providers. Here’s all you need to know about the change and why you should think about using the program.
“The EAP is a form of wellbeing coaching,” explains Senior Health and Wellbeing Partner Anna Dawson. She stresses, “You don’t have to be unwell or struggling to access EAP or management assistance services. It’s about promoting wellbeing and ensuring employees thrive at work.”
Senior Coordinator, Student Enquiry Lachlan Burnham first accessed the service in July 2017. “There were little signals that I needed to do something,” reveals Lachlan. “I was often short of breath, I was feeling stressed. I stepped back at one point and thought, I’m going 500 miles an hour here, I need to slow down.”
Though he’d heard about the EAP, and suggested other colleagues use it, he’d never actually heard anyone talk about it from a first-person perspective.
“I still feel that mental health might be a bit of a taboo subject. That's why I'm such an advocate for the EAP and pushing for it. Hopefully, just me talking about it or mentioning it every now and again helps.”
Having now used the service several times, Lachlan is aware of the benefits it’s afforded him. “It's just nice to be able to speak, and to have someone listen to you.
“It’s a little bit like Tetris with your thoughts. The thoughts don't go away, but they're organised in a better way so you can address them at a time that you need to.”
What’s more, the EAP is available to all UTS staff and their immediate family members in person, via phone and online.
Anna says, changing the provider of the EAP and the Manager Assistance Program (an advice and guidance service for staff in leadership positions who are facing people-related issues) to PeopleSense will better align the services with the UTS culture.
But don’t worry if you’re already using the EAP. Former provider Davidson Trahaire Corpsych will continue providing counselling support to existing UTS clients until 1 June 2018.
Both Anna and Lachlan agree mental health is just as important as physical health.
“Everything we do impacts on our psychological wellbeing,” says Anna. “If we invest in our mental health, we can learn strategies to better cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to the community.”
“Everyone's in the same boat, it's just acknowledging it and talking about it,” adds Lachlan. “Just try it! It doesn't cost anything but your time, and it can only make your life better.”