Health care employees in Saskatchewan have a new Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) service provider effective October 1, 2015.

After careful evaluation and consideration by representatives from the health regions, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, unions, and 3sHealth, Shepell will now be providing EFAP services to all healthcare employees in Saskatchewan, including employees of Saskatoon Health Region. Shepell has a proven track record supporting healthcare organizations – they currently support more than 600 national healthcare clients and large employee groups.

Two women talk on a bench

Face-to-face counselling services will still be offered with the new EFAP provider, as well as other new options.

One of the advantages of the switch will be access to video conferencing and online instant chat in addition to in person and telephone counselling services.

“These new methods provide flexibility in accessing services that should suit the preferences, lifestyle and learning style of all of our staff members,” said Jeremy Ring, Manager, Employee Wellness and Accommodations for Saskatoon Health Region.

In addition to new ways of accessing counselling services, Shepell has also launched a free and intuitive ‘My EAP’ app, which is available to both Apple and android users. This support on-the-go allows you to book services, access counselling, and discover helpful articles, videos, and assessment tools.

“We recognize that staff might feel anxious about this change, particularly if they are already in counselling,” noted Ring. “We want to assure them that during the transition from Homewood Health to Shepell, there will be no disruption of EFAP services. It will be business as usual with Homewood Health until October 1. Those who are in counselling at the time of the transition will be able to complete their counselling with their current counsellor.”

However, if an employee wishes to end counselling with Homewood before resolution is reached, and initiate counselling with Shepell on the same presenting issue, they will need to restate their situation and build rapport with a Shepell counsellor.

Click on brochure to enlarge.

Click on brochure to enlarge.

“Case files originated with Homewood will not be transferred to Shepell,” Ring explained.

Shepell will also offer Family Support Services, which will connect staff members with a Family Support Specialist for personalized assistance with family planning, parenting, childcare, eldercare, homecare support and more.

Shepell’s Legal Support Services can also provide consultation with professional lawyers to answer legal questions surrounding divorce, custody, adoption, real estate, debt, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant issues, and more.

Training for Saskatoon Health Region supervisors and managers on the new EFAP program will be available this fall, and Shepell will be delivering orientation training for employees following the launch of their services.