When it comes to mental health support, a standard EFAP alone may not be adequate to meet employees’ broad spectrum of needs. We provide more advanced and specialized support to:
- Employees with more complex and/or severe mental health difficulties, more specialized needs (e.g. employees going through gender transition, employees with cognitive disabilities needing special assessments or support, employees needing intervention for substance use disorder, etc.)
- Employees in high consequence and/or high-risk professions
- Employees in high-impact role, like Organizational leaders
- Employees who have just experienced a traumatic work incident
Many employers include Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) in their benefits package despite the fact that most EFAP have a low utilization of between 5% to 10% and/or are not adequate in meeting employees’ mental health care needs (and according to Benefits Canada, less than 40% of employees are satisfied with their EFAP). That is because EFAP can often be easily added to the organization’s group health plan by the plan provider, it is relatively inexpensive to have, can include various nice-to-have add-ons outside of their core counselling service. At the same time, in order to keep cost down for employers, many EFAPs have little choice but to use a network of lower credentialled mental health care providers to deliver their core counselling service. Despite this, a standard EFAP can be helpful for employees with less complex mental health care needs, if the services are actively and effectively used.
When choosing an EFAP, an employer should first look past the nice-to-have add-ons to closely examine the quality of the most important part of the program – the counselling/therapy service offered (and also clinical assessments, if offered). This is likely the service that will have the largest impact on employees’ efforts to deal with their mental health difficulties and to retore their mental wellness. A mental health care provider can be a general practitioner or one with extended training, experience, or expertise in one or more areas of specialization. At present, there is no single national or international standard that dictate the consistent level of education, internship, or additional training that a mental health care provider must have. As such, mental health care providers can have qualifications ranging from a 2-year diploma with minimal applied training hours to a post-graduate degree with very extensive applied training hours.
When choosing an EFAP, an employer should at least ask the following questions:
- What types of professionals will render this service?
- What is the minimum level of education, training, and experience that each mental health care provider would have?
- How does the EFAP company vet the mental health care providers?
- How does the EFAP company monitor and pro-actively manage the quality and performance of the program as well as that of the mental health care providers engaged to do the work?
- What sort of reporting is provided and how useful are the reports in conveying the effectiveness of the program?
- How much and what kind of support will the employer get from the EFAP company?
Ultimately, all the nice-to-have add-ons would be immaterial if the core service needed by employees to deal their mental health difficulties is hard to access, not well accessed, and/or is of low quality and effectiveness. If employees are not getting what they need, they are not motivated to use the program.
For employees with more complex and/or severe mental health difficulties, the basic mental health support that they can receive through their EFAP may not be adequate. As a result, their condition and level of stress can continue to deteriorate despite the fact that they have gotten or are getting help. In such cases, tailored, advanced, and/or specialized support, therapies, and treatments by clinicians with extended training, experience, or expertise in the employees’ specific areas of concern may be needed to properly support the employees in dealing with their difficulties and in restoring their wellness.
Employees who experience the following issues may need more advanced or specialized assessments and therapies/treatments by clinicians with extended training, experience, or expertise in dealing with the issues:
- any psychological issue at a more severe state
- multiple (co-morbid) psychological issues
- severe trauma/PTSD
- more complex psychological disorders (e.g. personality disorder, bipolar disorder, eating disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, psychotic disorder, and more)
- compulsive and addictive behaviours (substance or alcohol use, porn, gaming, etc.)
- serious life transition difficulties
- developmental/cognitive disabilities
- Psychological effects of cognitive impairment resulting from traumatic injury or medical condition
- LGBTQIA2S+, Gender dysphoria, gender transition
- Sexual issues and dysfunctions
Employees in high-impact and/or high-risk jobs may need more tailored and specialized support from clinicians with either personal experience in these professions and/or distinct professional knowledge and experience working with members in high-impact and high-risk jobs:
- Executive officers and senior managers
- Health care professionals (doctors, nurses, emergency room staff, dentists, etc.)
- Police officers, peace officers, military personnel, firefighters
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Enforcement officers, corrections officers, probation officers
- Security guards, border patrol security, airport security personnel
- Pilots, air traffic controllers
- Emergency dispatchers
- Hazardous materials removal workers
- Social workers, inner-city client support workers, child welfare workers
- Therapists, crisis line workers
- Veterinarians and veterinary staff
- Lawyers, Judges
- Taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers
- Veterans, retirees, and post-exit personnel from the jobs above as well as family members of the personnel in the jobs above may also need the same specialized care as the employees directly in the jobs.
Employees in high-impact and/or high-risk jobs may experience a heightened level of stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or burnout due to their exposure to a higher level of psychological and/or physical risks and hazards, and employees in high-impact jobs, it is also due to the fact that their work decisions and actions can result in very significant consequences – e.g. life and death, national security, loss or gain in millions of dollars, or other serious consequences.
In order to support these employees effectively, a clinician needs to have more than just the knowledge of clinical treatments for these mental health concerns. They also need to have a good understanding of the unique nature, culture, stressors, and challenges of the employee’s specific profession or job.
In order to prevent burnout or other mental health injuries (instead of intervening only when burnout and injury occur), employees in high-impact and high-risk jobs should have access to personalized support in mental health injury prevention and resilience maintenance, which can include resilience maintenance counselling, work management coaching, nutrition planning, fitness consults, and more.
Our multi-pronged Leader Support & Resilience Maintenance Program focuses on providing leaders with assistance and support to navigate difficult workplace mental health issues, deal with mental health cases, mitigate risks as well as strengthen their own wellness and resilience. Click HERE for information on all of our leader support services.
Our specific Individual Leader Resilience Maintenance (ILRM) service is a pro-active individual check-in program specifically designed to provide leaders with a regular safe space away from work to debrief, process, and/or work through personal and professional issues that pose mental and/or relational stress for them.
The program is facilitated by a dual-professional team* consisting of a seasoned mental health specialist who understands organizational leadership complexities and dynamics, and a highly experienced management/executive coach. Their work with the leader is further supported by a multi-disciplinary network of affiliate professionals where needed.
ILRM alternates monthly or bi-weekly between maintenance debriefs with the management/executive coach and maintenance counselling with the mental health specialist. Each will work with the leader on different clusters of issues:
The mental health specialist and management/executive coach are also resource navigators who will work with and/or provide referrals to other affiliate service providers (e.g. physician, para-medical professional, cognitive rehabilitation specialists, financial advisor, legal counsel, etc.) where necessary and appropriate for the leader’s care.
ILRM is best undertaken when a leader is performing well, and both the leader as well as their organization wish for the leader to remain so. When a leader is already facing noticeable psychological strain or burnout, interpersonal difficulties, and/or performance deterioration, more active initial intervention and support may be needed.
While Insight’s ILRM is specifically designed to include the support of both a mental health specialist and a management/executive coach, it can be facilitated by only a mental health specialist or only a management/executive coach should the leader feel that their needs are best met by one or the other but not both.
In addition to group training and individual counselling, Insight also offers the team intervention and support.
We can provide group support sessions for employees experiencing difficulties associated with specific mental health concerns, substance dependency, difficulty adjusting to major life changes, or grief and loss. Group sessions allow employees to mutually support one another through their struggles, process through their difficulties, build resiliency and learn coping skills as well as explore additional support and resources where needed. Areas more commonly covered in such a session include but not limited to the following:
- Specific mental health area (e.g. dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.)
- Personal and workplace relationship difficulties (e.g. communication challenges, power struggle, bullying, abuse, etc.)
- Job loss and career transition
- Grief and loss (e.g. death of a spouse, child, or co-worker, , etc.)
- Major life changes and adjustment difficulties (e.g. post-partum difficulties, marital breakup, recovering from life threatening illness, etc.)
- Substance dependency recovery
- Parenting difficulties
A critical and traumatic incident can include death or near death of an employee, violent incident at work, major work-related accident, or other traumatic occurrences. Aside from work-related, critical incidents can involve one’s athletic/artistic/social team or club, school, community, or other entities.
Individuals who witnessed, endured, are made aware of, or even vicariously became aware of a critical incident can experience shock, trauma, distress, fear, anxiety, grief, loss, loss of control over their environment, or other psychological and/or physical difficulties. Prompt critical/traumatic incident care is needed to help employees deal with the strong psychological impact from the incident.
Our trauma and critical incident response team is made up of experienced trauma-informed psychologists, trauma specialists, and critical incident response specialists who can provide group debriefing and support within 24 to 72 hours after a traumatic incident. Post-incident individual counselling and support may also be needed by some employees.
Critical Incident Stress Management Training
Some professions encounter critical incidents on a more frequent basis and such may form part of their job. Such include but not limited to uniform personnel and first responders as well as client facing inner city workers. Organizations that may deal with a higher number of critical incidents may want to have their leaders and designated personnel trained in Critical Incident Stress Management so that these individuals can more readily, promptly, and effectively support colleagues at work in times of need.
Click HERE for CISM training.
Areas of foci and specialization
Our clinicians’ areas of foci and/or specialization include but not limited to:
Click HERE for a comprehensive list of our areas of foci.
Aside from more common evidence-based psychotherapy such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), our clinicians also use other treatment modalities to deal with specific issues. These include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for conditions involving traumatic memories, virtual-reality assisted therapy for phobias, play therapy, hypnotherapy, and more.
Our clinicians also work with other medical/para-medical affiliates and specialists, where appropriate, to provide your employees with the multi-disciplinary support they may need to deal with their concerns. Such include psychiatrists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, pain management specialists, massage therapists, nutritionists, and more. Through our affiliates, our clients can also access repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for severe depression and other disorders as well as access cognitive impairment/injury assessment and rehabilitation for concussion, traumatic brain injury, and other medical conditions.
Click HERE for a comprehensive list of treatment methods used by our therapists.
Prevention and early intervention
Aside from therapies and treatments to address evident mental health difficulties, maintenance counselling and coaching should be done pro-actively to maintain resilience and address arising stressors early on before these noticeably affect the employee’s health and performance.
EFAP supplement at no additional cost
We can provide specialized assessment and counselling/therapy to supplement your EFAP. Such services can be added and covered within one or more of employees’ existing group health benefits package, be that your group health plan, health and wellness spending account, or a stand-alone mental health spending account. Depending on the option chosen, such coverage can be made available to the employees without the organization having to allocate any additional financial resources.
We pro-actively manage the quality of our program and clinicians through the following initiatives:
- Our registered clinicians have a graduate or post-graduate degree in the field plus considerable to extensive experience in their field of practice.
- Our registered clinicians are required to take additional training and advance their overall expertise as well as knowledge of treatment modalities in one or more areas of specialization.
- Our registered and practicum clinicians are supervised or guided by some of the leading experts and/or seasoned specialists in the field.
- Formal group and individual case consults and supervision sessions are held weekly and in-house training sessions on a multitude of clinical subjects are held regularly to facilitate discussion and on-going development.
- Our diverse team of clinicians with different specializations consult with one another actively as well as cross-refer and provide joint care where appropriate, to ensure that our clients get the best and most effective care possible.
- Our intake team knows and works with our clinicians on a regular basis, and this has a large effect on their ability to match clients with the appropriate clinicians.
- Each day, we monitor feedback from our clients and deal with questions or concerns quickly.
- We use a multi-pronged quality assurance system to monitor and ensure the quality of our clinical services, clinical supervision, and client care delivery.