70% call EAP for mental health problems


Nearly three-quarters (70%) of employees have called their organisation’s employee assistance programme (EAP) for help with mental health problems, according to research by Unum.

Unum’s analysis of the 12,610 calls made to its EAP service, provided in conjunction with Lifeworks, between 1 December 2016 and 30 November 2017 also found that of the calls relating to mental health problems, 66% were for anxiety and depression, 13% regarded problems caused by relationship issues and 9% related to bereavement.

The research also found:

  • 60% of employees who phoned the EAP for mental health problems were offered counselling and 97% were offered an initial appointment within five days. In total, 17,335 counselling sessions were provided between 1 December 2016 and 30 November 2017.
  • 92% of employees who were provided with access to counselling support as a result of calling the EAP service saw their mental health improve.
  • 22% of employees called the EAP to help with a problem serious enough to affect their performance at work, with 14% wanting support with legal problems and a further 14% looking for guidance on practical problems, for example caring responsibilities.
  • 58% of female employees use the EAP.
  • Online support was accessed 74,607 times by employees between 1 December 2016 and 30 November 2017.

Ambika Fraser (pictured), head of propositions at Unum, said: “We took the decision to analyse and release these figures to increase awareness of the invaluable support that’s available to hundreds of thousands of UK [employees]. We’re committed to reducing the stigma around mental health concerns and hope the high success rates will encourage more to seek help when they need it.

“EAPs are a first line of defence for employers and line managers in protecting the wellbeing of their staff. They provide fast, confidential solutions to all kinds of problems from mental health to debt and relationship worries that could otherwise quickly escalate and impact productivity.”