Employee Assistance Program - CalHR

Employee Assistance Program

As a State of California Employee, you and your eligible dependents have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  This program is provided by the State of California as part of the State’s commitment to promoting employee health and wellbeing.  It is offered at no charge to the employee and provides a valuable resource for support and information during difficult times, as well as consultation on day-to-day concerns.  EAP is an assessment, short-term counseling and referral service designed to provide you and your family with assistance in managing everyday concerns.  EAP offers confidential clinical help for everyday people with everyday problems. 
 
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Employee Assistance Program

Circumstances at home can spill over into your work life, just as difficulties on the job can affect relationships at home.  If left unattended, issues that were once minor can become more serious and have a negative impart both at home and at work. 
 
When times get tough, most of us benefit from talking through our problems with someone who is objective and experiences.  Someone who can help us sort things out; a professional who will listen in confidence and help us find a good solution.
 
The program is very easy to use.  It’s a one-stop-shop phone number for all EAP services 1-866-EAP-4SOC (1-866-327-4762), in an emergency call 911.  TDD callers please dial 1-800-327- 0801.  It is voluntary, no one can make you go, you only use EAP if you want to.  There are no premiums or co-payments.  The benefit is free to State employees and their dependents.  This benefit includes a broad range of services by highly trained psychologists, social workers, marriage and family counselors, financial counselors, licensed attorneys, etc.   Of course it is confidential, no one knows you’re using EAP unless you tell them. 
 

Purpose and Authority

As part of the State of California's commitment to promoting the health and well-being of its employees, the Department of Personnel Administration offers eligible employees and their dependents access to a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP is designed to help you address both day-to-day and serious concerns so that you can be your best at home and at work.
 

Authority

EAP was established in March 1982 (Executive Order B 96-82) with the Department of Personnel Administration assuming responsibility for the program.
 

Information

State of California employees and eligible dependents have access to a statewide Employee Assistance Program. The State of California provides EAP as part of its commitment to employee health and well being. At no charge to you, EAP provides a support and information during difficult times, as well as consultation on day-to-day concerns.
 

Clinical Counseling

When scheduling a clinical counseling appointment you have three options:
  1. Traditional Face-to-Face - Scheduled appointments in a clinicians office with a face-to-face meeting.
  2. Telephonic - With the ease of picking up the phone, connecting and having your pre-set appointment with the same counselor for every session, just like face-to-face, you don’t have to travel anywhere. It saves time, energy and gas and these session do not count against your pre-set sessions and are available as long as clinically needed for EAP problem resolution.
  3. Web-Video - Combines the convenience of telephonic and the warmth of a face-to-face conversation. These offer the ease and convenience of any phone appointment, but also the very personal connection that comes with talking face-to-face. Because you and the clinician see each other while you talk, there are visual cues to enhance understanding and foster a more personal connection. These do not count against your face-to-face sessions and there isn’t a preset number of sessions and they are available as long as clinically needed for EAP problem resolution. When you make the appointment they will let you know exactly what you need to connect, i.e., internet connection, web camera, Skype, etc.
 

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the hallmark of the program and is essential to the success of the program and is no different than using any of your other benefits such as medical, dental or vision.  Nobody besides the person accessing EAP knows that they’ve gone or why, unless they tell someone. 
 
This is one of the most important things to know about this program, besides the fact that all services are free; the program is strictly confidential and that your privacy is protected by law.  With only a few obvious exceptions your confidentiality is protected. Nobody from work, nobody from your family can find out if you’ve used any part of the EAP program. No reports are made except aggregate utilization reports that do not identify individuals. 
 
The legal exceptions are the same as those that guide all clinicians.  In these cases, a clinician would be required to notify appropriate authorities.
  • If a member expresses an intent to commit child or elder abuse, or expresses plausible suicidal or homicidal intent.
  • Or if a court order requires a clinician to reveal otherwise confidential information.
 

Contact Information

If you need help, call toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
Specially trained customer service representatives and professional EAP counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to confidentially discuss your concerns and ensure that you receive the assistance you need.
You can also contact your departmental EAP coordinator, or the Statewide EAP Benefits Manager at (916)324-9353.
 

A small number of State agencies do not participate in the EAP master contract. Instead, they provide internal EAP services. Please check with your agency's EAP Coordinator to determine if your agency has an internal EAP.

 

EAP as a Management Resource

As a manager or supervisor, addressing work performance problems can be one of the most stressful aspects of your job. You may find it difficult to help an employee when you suspect that their personal problems have impaired their job performance. EAP provides an alternative in some of these situations. In many instances, employees will contact EAP on their own. At other times, you may suggest that employees contact EAP. You can also formally refer an employee to EAP when their performance problems do not respond to standard supervisory interventions. One of the services available to managers and supervisors is Managed Health Network's (MHN) Managements Consultants.
 
If you are a supervisor or manager, there are some management resources available.  These include EAP services, of course, but also include:
  • Formal Supervisor Referrals - One of a manger/supervisor’s responsibilities is to monitor employee performance. If an employee’s performance or conduct in the workplace is unsatisfactory, a Formal Supervisor Referral may be appropriate. The Formal Supervisor Referral is a management tool used to improve work performance and resolve work-related problems. It is not intended as a disciplinary measure, nor does it replace the State’s policies and procedures for dealing with poor performance or conduct. Prior to presenting a Formal Supervisor Referral, the supervisor/manager must contact MHN’s Management Consultant to discuss the employee’s performance.
  • Management Consultations - Management Consultations are valuable and confidential service to managers and supervisors who may have concerns regarding an employee’s job performance or an employee’s personal issues, which have come to their attention. They are encouraged to make telephone contact with MHN for professional and objective consultation. MHN consultants are available to talk over the situation and assist the caller in exploring various options.
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISD) - A critical incident is a highly stressful situation that causes unusually strong emotional reactions, either at the time of or after the incident, that has the potential to affect one’s normal functions. EAP is available to assist you and your employees following a traumatic incident. An onsite CISD can help resolve the aftermath of a trauma.
  • State of California EAP Supervisor Handbook - As a manager or supervisor, you know that personal problems can have a negative impact on
    attendance, health and productivity. The State of California’s EAP Supervisor Handbook, provided by MHN, includes is your guide to:
    • Member services that can help employees address their problems and improve their health and
      wellbeing; and
    • Manager and supervisor services that can help you support employees, address performance
      and conduct problems, and build successful, engaged teams.

Eligibility

Active State employees, their lawful spouse or registered domestic partner and unmarried dependent children are eligible to utilize EAP.
  • Children, natural, adopted, or step children under age 23 (EAP is not part of the “Affordable Care Act”), or any age if incapable of self-sustaining employment due to mental or physical disability.
  • Dependent children in the military are not eligible.
 

Employment Categories and Benefit Levels

The number of sessions that you are eligible for is determined by collective bargaining.  Each face-to-face session lasts approximately 50 minutes and the specific number of sessions you and your dependents are eligible to receive is based on your employment category.  When both spouses/registered domestic partners are State employees, both partners and family members are entitled to the counseling services under each employee’s employment category. Group counseling sessions of standard duration with one counselor are counted as one session.
 
The State has three benefit categories and three different benefit designs which have been determined by bargaining units, these are per contract year, July 1 – June 30.
 

Level 1 employees

are entitled to:
  • 7 sessions per problem type for employee,
  • 7 sessions per problem type for spouse or registered domestic partner, and
  • 7 sessions per problem type total for dependent children
include those in the following bargaining units:
  • Bargaining Units 5 and 7 employees and all exempt, managerial, supervisory and confidential employees of the California Highway Patrol.
  • Bargaining Unit 7 employees (R07), managers (M07), supervisors (S07) and confidential employees (C07) in any other department.
  • Bargaining Unit 6 employees (R06), managers (M06), supervisors (S06) and confidential employees (C06).
  • Bargaining Unit 8 employees (R08), managers (M08), supervisors (S08) and confidential employees (C08) including seasonal and intermittent firefighters.
 

Level 2 employees

are entitled to:
  • 3 sessions per problem type total for the employee, spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children
include those in the following bargaining units:
  • All California Highway Patrol, Department of Forestry and fire Protection (State Fire Marshall), and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employees (uncles listed in Level 1 above).
 

Level 3 employees

are entitled to:
  • 3 sessions total for employee
  • 3 sessions total for spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children.
include all employees not listed in Level 1 or Level 2. 
 

Publications

Managed Health Network (MHN)

Managed Health Network (MHN) administers the State’s Employee Assistant Program.  MHN is a leading national provider of managed behavioral health care and EAP programs.  Among MHN’s comprehensive suite of services are face-to-face counseling, telephone support, critical incident stress debriefings, and online resources.
 
MHN is headquartered in San Rafael, California and has provided EAP services since 1974 and managed behavioral health programs since 1987. MHN serves more than 700 organizations, and employs approximately 1,000 associates. In addition to the corporate office, MHN also has full-service clinical intake offices in New York and Dallas, as well as San Rafael and Huntington Beach, California. A nationwide network of 33,000 licensed treatment providers support MHN.
 
The current EAP plan offers many enhanced benefits for you and your family. These enhancements are being provided by MHN at their cost and the State cannot guarantee these enhancements will continue to be offered or will be continued by any other EAP vendor in the future. The enhancements include:
  • Federal Tax Consultation - Help with IRS audits, and unfilled or past-due tax returns.
  • Pre-Retirement Planning - Lifestyle and financial guidance for planning a quality retirement.
  • Organizing Life's Affairs - Help with organizing vital records and documents, or with arranging "final details" for a loved one.
  • Work Life Services - Referrals for everyday errands, travel, event planning and more.
 

MHN Website

MHN offers a robust EAP website for all your EAP benefits – counseling, work-life services, financial and health information, help with life’s challenges – can be found in one convenient, private website.  Get the help you need with just the click of a  mouse.  You can access this feature from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
 
On this site, you can search for a counselor or ask an expert an emotional health question.  Click on the "Register" button and follow the simple registration process, use the access code "soc" and select your own user name and password.  The site also offers help on a wide range of emotional health and daily life issues.  EAP holds your privacy in the highest regard, and your information will not be shared.  You can use the site with confidence and comfort when searching for the personal information you need.
 

Retirees

Retirees covered by Level 1 services may use EAP for 90 days after the date of retirement, as may California Highway Patrol (CHP) employees who were covered by Level 2.  Employees covered by Level 3 services are no longer eligible for services when they retire.
 
Check your contract for further details.
 
Employees in all level of services who were authorized a course of treatment before their retirement have up to 6 months to complete any authorized sessions. They are not eligible for new services.
Retired Annuitants have access to EAP services while employed by a department which is participating in the master agreement.  Check your contract for further details.
 

Types of Problems

There are four problem types for clinical services:
  1. Substance abuse
  2. Alcohol abuse
  3. Marital & family issues
  4. Emotional, personal & stress concerns
     
Even though there are different limits on face-to-face sessions, there are NO preset limits if you choose to access clinical services via telephonic or web video consultation, and these types of sessions NEVER count against your face-to-face sessions.
 

Types of Services

Today there are so many services that EAP can be thought of in three ways:
  1. Emotional Health (face-to-face and telephonic) is still the biggest part of what we do.  Think of this as confidential clinical help for everyday people with everyday problems.
  2. Work & Life (face-to-face and telephonic) are types of benefits and resources that include things like free legal and financial consultations, identity protection & recovery, child & elder care, and much more.
  3. Resources and Information online include self-help assessments, online libraries filled with information, and even a WellBeing Assessment.
 

Wellbeing Assessment

As an EAP member, you have free, 24/7 access to our WellBeing Assessment, a valuable online tool that can help you identify risks to your physical and emotional wellbeing, develop a plan to address problems and potential problems, and get started on the path to optimal wellbeing. EAP’s WellBeing Assessment is a confidential, user-friendly online questionnaire that gathers information about you and your behaviors, attitudes, physical health, work environment, personal relationships, access to support structures and more.  After completing the assessment you receive a personal wellbeing report that rates your wellness in several areas, alerts you of potential risks, and includes actionable suggestions for improvement.  Your personal wellbeing reports is confidential and your individual results are never shared.   
 

Get started:

  1. Go to the EAP website enter your username and password (or register using access code is “soc”). 
  2. Click on WellBeing Assessment under the Wellness tab, then click continue.
  3. Under “My Plans” on the left, select “Assess My Wellbeing.”
  4. Follow the prompts through the questionnaire, and your wellbeing report and action plan will be ready in minutes.
 

WellBeing Assessment Questionnaire

Being prepared to answer these biometric questions will give you the most accurate results.  You can complete the assessment without them but you won’t be able to return and add them later.  You can take the assessment every six months to measure your progress. 
 

WellBeing Biometric Questions:

  • What is your systolic blood pressure?
  • What is your diastolic blood pressure?
  • What is your total cholesterol based on recent blood tests?
  • What is your HDL (good) cholesterol?
  • What is your LDL (bad) cholesterol?
  • What is your triglycerides level?
  • What is your fasting glucose level?
 
For a healthier, happier you – use EAP!  The WellBeing Assessment is a smart place to start if you want to improve your physical and emotional health and your overall quality of life.   You EAP also provides clinical support and work-life services, so help with everything from relationships to personal finance is always just a phone call away.
 
WellBeing Assessment Report
Once your WBA is complete, you will receive a personal wellbeing report that rates your wellness in several areas, alerts you of potential risks, and includes suggestions for improvement.  It addresses all six of the scientifically designed areas of :
  • Life evaluation or overall outlook
  • Emotional health
  • Physical health
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Work environment and quality
  • Basic access to health and life resources
 
When you are ready to take your assessment, just go to the EAP website, and you’ll find the WBA under the Wellness tab on the main page.
 

Work and Life Services

Many employees might not need or desire clinical counseling, but EAP offers many other services that can help with daily life issues.  These Work & Life services do NOT count against the clinical counseling sessions and these services are provided by certified specialists in these service areas:

Legal

Up to a 30-minute per session/per issue face-to-face or telephonic legal consultations are available in a question & answer session.  The program does not cover employee/employer issues or workers’ compensation.  This service is for a consult only.  If you want to hire an attorney to represent you in court, review or prepare legal documents this would be done on a fee-for-service basis after the initial consult, at a 25 percent discount. 
 
Legal consultations are available for:
  • Personal and family issues
  • Civil and consumer issues
  • Financial matters
  • Real Estate
  • Business matters
  • Criminal issues
  • IRS matters
  • Estate Planning
 

Financial

Financial consultations are up to 60 minutes per session and are done telephonically and are a great way to talk to financial experts about budgeting questions, credit reports, problems with mortgages or bills, just about anything financial that you can think of.  There are two types of telephone-based consultation: short financial – 30 minute question and answer sessions; and the full financial consultations – 60 minute consult gets more specific and can include budget and credit issues.  EAP does NOT lend money to members or refer to lenders,  give referrals to specific local assistance programs, or provide specific investment or financial planning advice. 
 
Financial counseling is available for:
  • Personal or family budget
  • Saving money
  • Paying debts
  • Setting financial goals
  • Assessing
  • Personal credit, debt collection
  • Bankruptcy issues
  • Excess spending
 

Child Care

The child care consult will give you up to a 30-minute session on information and education on child care issues and help you to:
  • Assess your child care needs
  • Identify community resources,
  • Identify needs of child or children in the family
  • Help you learn how to evaluate and monitor care
 
EAP does NOT give referrals to child care providers. They are not licensed or bonded to do that.
 

Elder Care

The elder care consultation is a benefit up to a 60-minute session about elder issues and concerns and info on Medicare and other services. 
 
They can help you:
  • Identify the needs of the elder
  • Identify types of community resources for elder issues
  • Evaluate financial and emotional stresses brought on by caring for an elderly relative.
  • Help you learn to evaluate and monitor care received by the elder
 
EAP does NOT give referrals to elder care providers.  They are not licensed or bonded to do that.
 

Pre-Retirement

Pre-retirement consults are up to 60 minutes per session and are available to help you prepare for retirement. 
 
EAP can help with the psychological issues like:
  • Transition from work to retirement
  • Effects on family relationships
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Housing options
  • Senior benefits
  • Issues of aging
  • Working when retired
  • Return to school
 
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to retirement and these consultants can really help.  This is not a financial planning service.  See CalPERs or your financial institution for financial planning services. 
 

Federal Taxpayer Assistance

The Federal Taxpayer Assistance is a benefit where Federal Tax questions can be explored with a qualified consultant.  This consult is a little different than the other benefits, and benefits are limited. 
 
The family unit, as a whole, receives:
  • Three sessions per contract year
  • Up to 30 minutes each
  • Total not to exceed 90 minutes per year.
 
This service is designed to help members who are experiencing problems with the IRS and to understand how to address them successfully.  This is NOT a tax preparation services.  The consultation does NOT address general tax questions about withholding, capital gains, tax forms or tax preparation for the current year. 
 
Benefits include up to 30 minutes per session for help with:
  • IRS audit
  • IRS levy on wages or property
  • Delinquent federal tax returns
  • Other unresolved issues with IRS
 
This consult is a little different than the other benefits.  The family unit receives:
  • Three sessions per contract year
  • Up to 30 minutes each
  • Total not to exceed 90 minutes per year.
 

Daily Living

This is a great research and referral service that can help you find solutions and resources for special projects, trips, parties, events, you name it.  Locate 3 – 5 businesses / vendors nationwide (such as auto repair, ticket sales, lawn service, etc.)
  • 24-hour request access
  • Research special requests
  • Normal response within 72 hours
 
EAP does NOT purchase items or services for the member, but rather obtains vendor information for the member to make their own arrangements.
 

Identity Theft Recovery Services

Identity Theft Recovery Services - Identity theft is a real and growing threat to your financial security, it includes credit card, phone, utility and bank fraud, as well as other types of fraud, it can hurt you financially, damage your credit and cause legal troubles. Resolving identity theft is almost always difficult, time-consuming and stressful.  You can call our toll-free number any time for identity theft prevention tips and tools, and in the unfortunate event that you are a victim, EAP can help.  Prevention, of course, is even better.  You can call EAP for information on how to lower your risk of being victimized and to request your free identity theft emergency response kit. If you are victimized, call EAP as soon as you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft.  
 
You and your eligible dependents are entitled to:
  • Fraud Resolution Consultation – a 60-minute consultation with a fraud resolution specialist, who can help you evaluate your situation and advise you on how to:
    • Place fraud alerts
    • Freeze credit
    • Close affected accounts
    • File police reports
    • Conduct other activities necessary to resolve fraud
    • Receive an ID theft emergency response kit
 
If you are victimized by an identity thief, we can help. But prevention, of course, is even better.  Call for information on how to lower your risk of being victimized and to request your free ID theft emergency response kit.

Frequently Asked Questions

This collection of frequently asked questions provides answers to common questions about the EAP.  If the answer to your question is not provided please contact your departmental EAP coordinator, MHN, or the Statewide EAP Benefits Manager.
 
 
 

Are EAP services really confidential?

All EAP records and services are treated with the strictest confidence and your identity is protected by law.. The personal information you share with your counselor is confidential, unless you sign a release of information or if the law requires disclosure (e.g., if there is a threat of serious harm to yourself or others, or if there is a suspicion of elder or child abuse).
 

Do I have to wait until a problem is really serious before I can call EAP?

No. The philosophy of EAP, and the State of California in offering this benefit, is that problems are most effectively handled before they become serious. The key is to get assistance before the problem escalates and begins to detrimentally affect your home or work performance. When employees bring home a problem from work, it can interfere with their family life. When employees bring their personal problems to their job, they run the risk of having their personal problems affect their work performance.
 

How and when to Use EAP?

From time-to-time, everyone needs help in dealing with stress, family concerns, money worries, or other problems. Sometimes discussing problems with a friend or co-worker is not enough. You may need a more objective view point, or a professional perspective on your concerns. That is when EAP can help you.
 
When employees bring their personal problems to the job they can lead to decreased productivity, lower quality work, missed deadlines, errors in judgment, increased mistakes, impaired concentration, difficult relationships with co-workers, and so on. In some jobs, performance problems can be life-threatening. Sometimes the job causes the problem and it affects the employee's relationships at home.
 
Unfortunately, many employees fail to seek help until it is too late. They leave the job due to stress, are subject to disciplinary action, or suffer physical injury. They may be too embarrassed to go to counseling, feel they cannot afford it, or do not know what is available. EAP can provide you with some assistance in handling life's tough situations.
 
Accessing your EAP services is simple.
Individual Counseling: Call (866) EAP-4SOC (866-327-4762) or TDD (800) 327-0801. Specially trained intake specialists and professional EAP counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to discuss your concerns confidentially and ensure you receive the assistance you need.
 
To ensure that you and your family receive the individual assistance you need, EAP counselors include psychologists, social workers, marriage and family counselors, financial advisors, child and elder care counselors, enrolled IRS agents, retirement counselors, and lawyers.
 
Based on your specific needs, you will be referred to an EAP counselor for a personal appointment. In addition, if your need is critical, assistance is available by telephone. The counselor you talk to will help you assess your situation, identify options and develop a plan of action to achieve your goals. Depending upon your specific situation, your EAP counselor may provide problem-focused counseling or refer you to another resource. Should you or a family member need assistance beyond the scope of EAP, your EAP counselor will offer recommendations about where to obtain care.
 
You can also access EAP information and tools online such as:
  • Search for an MHN Counselor.
  • Manage your stress with interactive tools.
  • Take a health risk assessment.
  • Ask an expert an emotional health question.
 
There are also numerous and timely articles with tips on topics such as how to cope with traumatic events, military deployment, family, children, and teen issues on MHN's website and is provided as a free service to State employees through our EAP benefits.
 

How can I prepare for my counseling appointment?

You can best prepare by taking the following steps:
  • Think about why you decided to ask for help at this particular time.
  • Consider when the problem began. Often employees seek help because something stressful or painful has happened (i.e., a death or separation, the anniversary of a difficult event, or a family or school problem).
  • Try to recall if/when you have had similar problems in the past. If you have had similar problems, consider how you've tried to cope.
  • Think about what you would like to happen as a result of your contact with EAP (e.g., feeling happier or improving an important relationship). What is your goal? When you see your counselor, be as clear as possible about your needs.
  • Be sure to keep your appointment. Seeking help takes courage. Some employees become doubtful or uncertain and either cancel their appointment or simply don't show up. Once you have decided to seek help, follow through. Consider it an investment in yourself.
 

How do I access the EAP program?

Call (866) EAP-4SOC (866-327-4762) or TDD (800) 327-0801. Specially trained customer service representatives and professional EAP counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to confidentially discuss your concerns and ensure that you receive the assistance you need.
 

How many Counseling Sessions am I eligible for?

The number of sessions that you are eligible for is determined by collective bargaining. Each face-to-face session lasts approximately 50 minutes. The specific number of sessions you and your dependents are eligible to receive is based on your employment category as follows:
 
Level 1 employees are entitled to:  (link to eligibility guide flyer)
  • 7 sessions per problem type for employee,
  • 7 sessions per problem type for spouse or registered domestic partner, and
  • 7 sessions per problem type total for dependent children
Level 1 employees include employees in the following bargaining units:
  • Bargaining Units 5 and 7 employees and all exempt, managerial, supervisory and confidential employees of the California Highway Patrol.
  • Bargaining Unit 7 employees (R07), managers (M07), supervisors (S07) and confidential employees (C07) in any other department.
  • Bargaining Unit 6 employees (R06), managers (M06), supervisors (S06) and confidential employees (C06).
    Bargaining Unit 8 employees (R08), managers (M08), supervisors (S08) and confidential employees (C08) including seasonal and intermittent firefighters.
 
Level 2 employees are entitled to:
  • 3 sessions per problem type total for the employee, spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children
Level 2 employees include employees of the following departments, unless listed in Level 1 above:
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (State Fire Marshall)
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Level 3 employees are entitled to:
  • 3 sessions total for employee
  • 3 sessions total for spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children
Level 3 employees are all other employees not listed in Levels 1 and 2.
 

If I've exhausted my available sessions, can my supervisor refer me so that I can get additional sessions?

No. A supervisor's formal referral does not count against or add to the number of sessions allowed under your level of services. The number of sessions allowed for a formal referral is limited to the time it takes a clinician to make an assessment of your problem, develop a corrective plan of action, identify options and refer you to the appropriate resource for counseling. This typically occurs in one or two counseling sessions.
 

My counselor said she would have to refer me out of EAP before I have used all of my sessions. Why can't I be referred out afterward?

The core focus of EAP is to assist employees with personal short-term problems. EAP covers brief counseling and referral services, rather than long-term behavioral health care treatment. Counselors can help you clarify a problem, and, if appropriate, provide short-term counseling. But if longer-term counseling or other community resources would better serve you, your counselor will refer you out of EAP.
  

What if I want to see a particular counselor that is not on MHN's panel of providers?

To get EAP benefits, you need to choose an EAP counselor from MHN's network. MHN has developed a comprehensive network of thousands of EAP counselors so that you can get the help you need quickly and easily. If you choose to see a counselor outside of the network, you will be responsible for payment.
 

What information should I have with me when I call?

You will need to provide your name, the name of your agency or department (and facility name if applicable), and your collective bargaining identification (CB/ID) code. If you do not know your CB/ID code, MHN can help you identify it if you provide your exact job title. When eligible dependents call EAP, they will need to have the appropriate information about the employee whose benefit plan they are covered under (i.e., parent or spouse).
 

What services are offered by EAP?

EAP is a voluntary, confidential, and pre-paid program that can help you and your family members balance the demands of daily living and find solutions for ongoing or serious concerns. You do not have to pay any co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles for any EAP services that are provided by the vendor's counselors, affiliates, or consultants.
 
Through EAP, you can receive assistance for:
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Marital, Family, and Relationship Issues
  • Grief and Depression
  • Substance Abuse
  • Financial and Credit Issues
  • Legal Issues
  • Dependent Care, including Child and Elder Care
 
Services not covered by EAP include inpatient or outpatient treatment for any medically treated illness; prescription drugs; treatment or services for mental retardation or autism; counseling services beyond the number of sessions covered under EAP; services by counselors who are not approved counselors or affiliates of the vendor; counseling required by law or a court or paid for by Worker's Compensation; formal psychological evaluations and fitness-for-duty opinions; and, counseling, including legal consultation, on issues regarding worker's compensation claims, allegations of harassment, litigation related to State employment or disputes involving interpretation of State law and/or regulations, formal excuses for leaves of absence or time off work; and clinical evaluations or recommendations for child custody or child abuse proceedings.
 
EAP is NOT for long-term counseling. This action-oriented employee assistance program offers problem assessment and assistance referral. An EAP counselor works with you to clarify and define the problem, identify alternatives, and develop a plan of action. The counselor provides you with referrals to other services in your community as necessary. He or she also follows up with you to see if these resources helped you and/or your family.
 
The number of counseling sessions you're entitled to will differ depending on your collective bargaining unit. Please see "How Many Counseling Sessions Am I Eligible For?" for more details. Please contact your departmental EAP Coordinator for more specific information and for a copy of the EAP employee brochure.
 

Who is Eligible?

Employees in State agencies/departments participating under the master contract agreement and who are appointed permanent full-time or part-time regardless of their bargaining unit designation are eligible for EAP services. Seasonal and limited-term employees and retired annuitants are eligible for EAP services during employment. Please check with your departmental EAP Coordinator to determine if your department is participating under the master contract agreement or has its own internal EAP.
 
You, your lawful spouse, and your unmarried, dependent children are eligible to receive assistance and counseling services through EAP for as long as you are employed by the State of California. Children are defined as natural, adopted or step-children who are under age 23. Also eligible are children of any age who are incapable of self-sustaining employment due to a mental or physical disability. Dependent children in the military are not eligible. The EAP benefit will be extended to registered domestic partners effective January 1, 2005.
 
You will not be eligible for EAP if any one of the following event occurs:
  • Your employment with the State of California ends (with some exceptions*); or
  • Services are used in a fraudulent or deceptive manner.
 
Once your eligibility ends, you and your family members may not continue coverage on an individual basis. If you have questions about your coverage or eligibility or need specific information on the exceptions, please contact your departmental EAP Coordinator. 
 
Survivor Benefits
Survivor benefits allow the following persons to use EAP services for six months after the death of an employee:
  • Surviving family members of employees who had Level 1 benefits, and
  • Family members of CHP employees who had Level 2 benefits. 
 
Eligibility for EAP services for surviving family members of all other employees' stops at the end of the month the death occurred.
 
* Excluded employees and those in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 15, 20 and 21 are allowed to receive a six-month extension to their EAP benefit following layoff from State Service. The extension is for time only and not an increase in benefits or visits.

Updated 11/13/2014