Overview of the MEA Cares Employee Assistance Program
MEA Cares has offered Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services for over 23 years. Through the program’s history, it has evolved and adapted to the ever-changing needs of the community and the represented businesses. MEA Cares EAP has functioned as a referral resource for many years, helping to locate appropriate services for our own employees and the many businesses that we serve.
MEA Cares provides services to approximately 40 local and statewide businesses of all sizes and functions. These have included state agencies, schools, law firms, manufacturers, and retail organizations. We utilize therapists from various disciplines in order to meet individual, couple, and family needs. These include Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Social Workers, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.
MEA Cares prides itself with its ability to “tailor make” its services to suit your company’s unique and ever changing needs. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” philosophy. Therefore, we allow you the flexibility to determine the services and pricing options that work best for your company. Some of the services available to your company include employee orientations, supervisory seminars, and employee educational seminars/workshops.
Orientations can be provided to our constituents to inform supervisors and employees about the nature of our services, how to access the services, and when they may be needed. Supervisory seminars can be provided to facilitate supervisor’s knowledge of how the EAP may enhance work productivity. Educational seminars are offered which relate to workplace or personal issues. These include, but are not limited to, stress management, balancing work and family life, conflict management, professionalism, violence in the workplace (prevention and identifying symptoms), anger management, and communication enhancement and money matters. Seminars can be custom designed to meet the unique needs of a business.
Summary of Services Offered
- Evaluation and assessment followed by brief counseling
- Services provided to covered employees and dependents
- Referral to employee’s preferred provider network-as needed
- Timely scheduling of appointments
- Emergency counseling or consultation within 24 hours
- Non-emergency counseling or consultation within 24 – 72 hours
- Crisis intervention via telephone – as needed
- Promotional material for employees
- Utilization reports for company management
- Confidential management of clinical information
- Work-Life web services
- Designated contact person
- Annual orientation for employees
- On site critical incident debriefing
- Annual supervisory and intervention training for managers and supervisors
- Educational seminars
Educational Seminars Offered
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children & Adults
Dealing with Difficult Customers and Co-workers
Dealing with Organizational and Life Changes
Depression and Anxiety
The Road To Financial Freedom
Grief and Bereavement
Habits of Happy People
Holiday Stress and Depression
Online Safety—Keeping Kids Safe
Power of Positive Thinking
Problem Solving Skills
Relationship Enhancement (Significant Others)
Relationship Tune-up (Marriage)
Resiliency During Tough Economic Times
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Sensitivity Training-Respect in the Workplace
Work & Family Balance
Workplace Trauma and Violence
Types of Issues Addressed Through the EAP
Just about any concern imaginable can be addressed at the EAP. Issues people seek counseling for range from simple to complex and fall mainly in the following categories:
- Stress, Anxiety, Depression
- Relationship Difficulties
- Family, Extended Family & Parenting Problems
- Alcohol, Drug, or Other Addictions
- Grief, Bereavement, and Loss
- Significant Life or Workplace Change
- Financial Difficulties
- Eating Disorders
- Adoption, Pregnancy, Infertility
- Single Parenting, Blended Families
- Elderly Parent Issues
Employee Assistance Program Components
1. The EAP Staff and Counseling Services
All MEA Cares EAP therapists have a minimum of a Master’s degree. The EAP utilizes a wide and diverse group of counselors, all of whom are experienced in a broad range of counseling issues. Additionally, we have individuals who have specialized training in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse.
For those seeking services in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area, the EAP counseling staff is available at our primary office located at 308 Corporate Drive close to I-55 in Ridgeland, Mississippi. We also have a secondary office located just off Lakeland Drive in Flowood, Mississippi. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Emergencies are handled within 24 hours of the initial call. Non-emergency situations are offered an appointment within 24 –72 hours of the initial call.
For employees and family members outside of the Jackson metropolitan area, a network of approximately 80 counselors (within a 65 mile radius of the employee’s office) will be utilized with varying locations and office hours.
2. Evaluation and Assessment followed by Brief Counseling
The EAP is designed to assess personal problems and provide short-term counseling. A trained counselor will assist in finding the most appropriate course of action to resolve or decrease the intensity of the covered employee or family member’s presenting issue or concern. A toll-free line is available for those living outside the immediate calling area and a crisis call line is available after normal business hours.
Employees and their immediate family members are entitled to a pre-determined number of counseling sessions during a twelve-month period. Eligible participants include all full time employees and their immediate family members. “Immediate family” is defined as spouse, unmarried natural children or stepchildren under the age of 26 living at home or enrolled full-time in school.
When referring clients for necessary treatment beyond the scope of EAP services; the counselor will utilize qualified therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and/or outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment facilities. Special care is taken to match the employee with the appropriate resource as listed in the employee’s approved provider directory.
When clients are referred outside the EAP office, contact is made with the referral source to verify that the client has made the contact and appropriate intervention has been initiated.
3. Utilization Reports & Billing Frequency
Utilization reports are provided to the designated company representative on an agreed upon monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. These reports are designed to maintain the confidentiality of the employee but do include the number of clients seen, type of issues presented, and the type of seminar or training conducted.
Payment for services can be made monthly, quarterly, or yearly and can coincide with utilization reporting.
4. Accessing EAP Services
Eligible participants may voluntarily utilize EAP services. Employees and/or qualified dependents that voluntarily access the EAP will call the local or toll free number (601-898-7520 or 800-844-6503) and speak to a customer service representative. The employee’s company personnel will not be contacted in cases of self-referral, unless an employee requests such contact and gives written consent to do so.
Supervisors may make referrals to the EAP for reasons such as an employee’s declining job performance or more specific incidents that may indicate the presence of a personal or family problem. All policies and procedures for supervisory referral must be clearly outlined in the company’s personnel policies. In the case of a management referral, the supervisor will be notified if an employee makes and keeps an appointment with an EAP Counselor, provided that the employee has executed a Release of Information Form to authorize disclosure to the supervisor or company representative.