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Three years after the start of the pandemic, employees are more stressed than ever, according to the latest Gallup workplace report, and many employers continue to grapple with the challenges and stigma of workplace mental health at a time when employees are making their wellbeing and work-life balance a priority.

As part of a whole-person approach, partnering with a provider of employee assistance programs (EAPs) is an effective way to offer a range of confidential counseling services, education and other resources to help employees manage mental health issues and other professional and personal challenges that impact engagement, productivity, retention and business performance.

While most employers already offer an EAP, employee use remains low. Part of the reason is that historically, EAPs were thought of as a resource for employees dealing with substance abuse issues and the stigma persists. Another barrier is lack of awareness and access. About 30% of U.S. workers don’t know how to access their company EAP and only 43% say their employer provides easily accessible mental health services, according to a Gallup wellbeing survey.

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