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Published on March 08, 2017

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Convenient, Online Access to Employee Assistance

When you’re considering who to talk to about things that keep you up at night, it’s tricky.

You can go to your spouse, or a friend, but because they are so close to you, it’ll be hard for them to be detached.

That’s why employers like Avera provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that can help you when you’re considering a decision or need that professional, impartial voice to listen.

The Employee Assistance Program that serves Avera workers and families, as well as employees from companies around the Midwest now offers its professional services as part of the AveraNow application.

Mary Wolf, MS, LPC-MH, CEAP, director of the Avera Medical Group LIGHT Program as well as the Avera EAP, said EAP is a benefit that lets individuals work through everyday problems, like grief, coworker conflicts or big decisions.

“We listen and work with you to build strategies on how to thrive with life’s challenges,” she said. “We see EAP as a not only a tool for crises, but also for those day-to-day issues where a confidential, objective professional offers some tools and insights. The AveraNow service will make it more convenient to reach out and get help.”

EAP therapists discuss coping mechanisms and help develop a plan with the employee that can work for their individual situation, said Wolf, who also is a counselor with Avera Behavioral Health. Many find a resolution to problems after one session.

“The most common feedback we get is that people say they wish they had called sooner because it helped them with a decision or a challenge,” Wolf said. “Avera employees receive three 50-minute sessions at no cost, and so does their spouse and dependents. Many people have one session; for others, it’s a starting point for additional levels of care.”

With AveraNow, EAP users can merely take out their video-equipped smart phone or log into the platform with a PC and conduct their session from home, the office or even in a car. Wolf said the format is a wonderful one for millennials who like technology or for anyone who wants to save time and not travel.

“Many people don’t want to go to a traditional office visit, and this makes it quick and it remains confidential – you can literally see a therapist when and where it’s convenient,” she said. “We’ve seen how one person in a department will use EAP and then tell others about their great experience, and then coworkers will call for that same therapist. With AveraNow, we hope more people will see it as the starting point it is. It can open opportunities.”

You can call EAP at 605-322-4069 for more information on scheduling an AveraNow EAP session, or email them for assistance.

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