Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Contact: Homewood Human Solutions, SFU's EFAP Provider at 1-800-663-1142

What is it?

Very simply, it is just what it sounds like -- the program provides confidential, professional assistance to help you or your family members resolve problems that affect your personal lives or work performance. EFAP can provide you with counselling, advice or information. Participation in the program is voluntary, although it may be recommended when work performance problems exist.

Why is a program like this needed?

Each of us, regardless of our position in the University, face a variety of problems in our daily lives. Usually we can work them out. Sometimes our problems become too much for us to handle and they affect our personal happiness, our family relations, our performance at work and even our health. When this occurs, we often need professional help in resolving our problems. Without proper attention, these problems usually become worse and the consequences are often unpleasant.

What kinds of problems will the EFAP address?

The program deals with human problems — the kinds of problems that affect your family life, your work life or your general well-being. These may involve such matters as stress, anxiety and depression; marriage counselling; family conflicts; alcohol and drug dependency; grief and bereavement; and, in a limited way, financial and legal difficulties associated with the above problems.

How does the Employee and Family Assistance Plan work?

The University retains the services of an external program provider, Homewood Human Solutions, with program counsellors who are registered psychologists. Here is how the program works:

You can refer yourself by simply calling Homewood Human Solutions at 1-800-663-1142. Because you refer yourself, no one need know that you are seeking assistance. However, colleagues, friends or others interested in your welfare may also encourage or even assist you in making an appointment. There is access to three confidential counselling options: face-to-face counselling, telephone counselling and e-Counselling.

Confidentiality is assured. The information you share with SFU's EFAP provider is confidential and will not be shared with SFU. Exceptions to this occur when there is potential harm to self or others. In these situations, appropriate resources are notified as required by ethical guidelines and the law. The individual's participation in the program and any records of participation and treatment will remain strictly confidential and cannot be accessed in any way by the University.

Department heads and supervisors will not attempt to diagnose or counsel faculty or staff on personal issues. Department heads and supervisors may encourage the use of EFAP when a personal problem may be interfering with job performance, but it cannot be made mandatory.

Concerned about a colleague? An individual concerned about the well-being of a co-worker, colleague or superior, can contact the EFAP provider for further advice.

EFAP Counsellors

All counsellors are prescreened and trained according to the standards set by Homewood Human Solutions. In addition, counselling services are delivered in keeping with Council on Accreditation (COA) standards. When you call EFAP, Homewood Human Solutions will work with you to ensure the right counsellor match from within their professional network of counsellors. In the presence of extenuating clinical circumstances, (i.e., trauma and children) or therapeutic needs not met by Homewood Human Solutions, the faculty or staff member may request a subcontractor with the understanding that it is the responsibility of Homewood Human Solutions to ensure the provider meets the standard of qualification and criteria noted above. In these circumstances the faculty or staff member may receive partial reimbursement for services (with prior approvals met by Homewood Human Solutions).

Does the EFAP apply to family problems?

Since personal well-being and work performance can be affected by problems of a spouse or dependent, this program is available to spouses and dependents.

But aren't those private problems?

Problems are private only until they begin to have an effect on work performance. Many times these problems can affect the morale of the University. The intent of the EFAP is to prevent that from happening. It's an offer of a helping hand. The program is strictly confidential and voluntary. No information is released concerning the nature of the personal problem or recommendations without signed consent.

Who will pay for counselling or other professional services that may be necessary?

The EFAP benefit covers the cost of short-term counselling to a maximum of twelve visits annually per family. If longer term or more specialized counselling is required, you will be referred to a community resource that you can afford. Normal procedures or leave policies apply to faculty or staff attending appointments. Sick leave may apply for residential treatment.

Who administers the program?

A joint EFAP Advisory Committee has the general responsibility for the operation of the program. The Committee advises and consults with the EFAP provider, hears concerns, and receives advice and suggestions from the various university constituencies. The Committee also receives periodic reports regarding usage of the program to assist in evaluating the program's effectiveness. The information provided to the Committee for this purpose does not contain names or any other details which could identify faculty or staff members.

The EFAP Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives of the various constituencies served by the program: The Faculty Association, the Administrative and Professional Staff Association, CUPE Local 3338 and the Poly Party.

How to access the program

Simply contact the EFAP provider by phone (on or off the job) and indicate that you want to discuss the program or you want help for yourself or direction on how to advise someone else to access the program. There is access to three confidential counselling options: face-to-face counselling, telephone counselling and e-Counselling. The program counsellors are trained to make you feel at ease and to help you discuss the next step. If you want information and no action, the process stops there. It is up to you.

Contact: Homewood Human Solutions, SFU's EFAP Provider at 1-800-663-1142