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If your question is not covered in these frequently asked questions, contact us by phone at (915) 995-6070 or by e-mail at pkj1@westchestergov.com. (Note: E-mail is a less confidential means of communication than the phone.)

Q. What is the Westchester County Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

A. The EAP is a confidential assessment and referral program designed to help you manage personal and work-related problems. The EAP is part of the benefit package that is funded by your employer. Although the EAP is not a treatment program, short-term counseling may be available to you through the EAP if it is appropriate to your circumstances.

Q. Who can use the EAP?

A. EAP services are available to you and to members of your immediate family. You may contact EAP for assistance as many times as needed throughout your employment.

Q. Will my employer know if I use your services?

A. If you refer yourself to the EAP your contacts are totally confidential. (In accordance with applicable state laws, exceptions must be made for certain reports of child abuse or your safety or the safety of others.)  If your supervisor mandates you to the EAP the content of your sessions with an EAP counselor remain confidential but your supervisor will know that you are attending EAP (see #8).

Q. What is the cost for using the EAP?

A. There is no cost to you or your eligible family members for using our professional services at any time. EAP counselors may refer you to outside services depending on your situation. In that case, you may have to pay for those services. Your EAP counselor will fully explain options to you.

Q. What should I expect when I make an appointment with an EAP counselor?

A. When you come to the EAP you will meet with a counselor who has a graduate degree in social work or psychology. The counselor will have years of experience working directly with people who are seeking to alleviate problems in their personal or professional lives. During your first appointment, the counselor will ask you about the situation that brought you to the EAP, and how you are coping at work, at home and with others. When the counselor feels he or she has a good understanding of your concerns, you will be provided with feedback, information and/or suggestions. The counselor will work with you to develop a plan for resolving your concerns.

Q. What kinds of recommendations could be made?

A. After an assessment, an EAP counselor may recommend that you receive some type of counseling or treatment from a clinician in the community. The EAP maintains a large network of providers including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, substance abuse programs, support groups and other treatment programs, EAP counselors can facilitate referrals to providers within any insurance plan. A counselor may also refer you to other resources, which include but are not limited to areas such as childcare, eldercare, legal, financial and housing. When a referral is made outside the EAP, you are responsible for any costs related to utilizing these resources.

Q. What is a supervisory referral?

A. Sometimes employees are told to speak with someone at EAP because they are having problems on the worksite. Employees that are mandated to EAP by their supervisors will have an appointment scheduled with an EAP counselor.  At the first meeting, information will be gathered to gain an understanding of the problems leading to the supervisory referral. Employees will be asked to sign a release of information that allows the EAP to notify the supervisor that you have followed through on the referral and that you are compliant with the EAP recommendations. No further information will be shared by EAP staff without a release of information signed by the employee.

Q. What if I don’t want to attend EAP?

A. Employees who have been referred by their supervisors have the right to refuse EAP intervention and not accept the referral to EAP or, once at EAP, not to accept the intervention discussed. In cases where employees refuse EAP intervention the supervisor will be informed of their decision.

Q. How long will I be involved with EAP?

A. Clients that are self-referred to EAP are followed by EAP only as long as needed. Once referrals are made and the problem is near to being resolved the case will be closed. If you are a supervisory referral and accept EAP intervention you will be involved with EAP until the problem is resolved.