The EAP is in the middle of a major identity crisis. Crippled by the stigma of baked-in programs and health care giant price wars, the deep-rooted purpose of employee assistance programs is lost and buried. EAPs have been stripped down, thrown in and forgotten in the benefit puzzle.

Yet at the same time, businesses are facing rising health care costs, mental health claims, and workers' comp claims; high rates of absenteeism and turnover; and major challenges in risk management and critical incident response. Now more than ever, there is a strong business need to have an engaged EAP partner to proactively address new workplace issues. 

While EAPs have been around longer than nearly any other employee support program, long gone are the days of old-school EAPs plagued by an 'onsite' counselor in the 'not-so-confidential' office down the hall. More evolved and engaged EAPs of today are offering a full spectrum of nontraditional benefits, from robust financial wellness programs to unlimited pet parenting referrals, critical incident response and performance management support. And when it comes to those all-important mental health benefits, forward-thinking EAPs are offering convenient video chat clinical sessions, life coaching, and total well-being support.

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