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When someone from our workforce community begins to feel the results of everyday stress, where can he or she go for help?
Today's societal and personal pressures can be great. It's not unusual for people who work full time to also attend classes, raise children, volunteer in the community, and care for an aging parent--all while trying to absorb a barrage of information, find time for physical exercise, and maintain a number of personal and professional relationships.
And they're working more. A recent study by the Families and Work Institute shows that combined weekly work hours for dual-wage-earning couples with children has risen 10 hours since 1977.
More than 50 percent of the workforce reports some kind of stress-related symptom, according to the International Labour Organization. Two-thirds of businesspeople surveyed by Reuters said stress had damaged their personal relationships, increased tension with colleagues at work, and reduced their job satisfaction.
These findings reinforce what has been the central philosophy behind employee assistance programs for more than half a century: that an employee's work and well-being are inextricably linked.
Buffalo State has a rich history of extending a helping hand through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP is a free, confidential assessment and referral service for New York State employees and their families, as well as retirees. Dedicated, compassionate coordinators respond to employees' needs┐encouraging, educating, and guiding them through some of the most troubling times of their lives.
Coordinators refer employees to qualified providers in the community. EAP works with a comprehensive network of more than 100 agencies in Western New York that cover such areas as alcohol or substance abuse, child care, elder care, HIV/AIDS, or adolescent services. The program also addresses other complex issues that may directly or indirectly affect an employee's productivity--emotional, domestic, financial, or legal.
Early intervention is crucial, and both employees and employers benefit as a result. Research from the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) indicates that workplace EAPs reduce absenteeism and lead to fewer workplace accidents. Survey results show EAP services help improve job effectiveness, increase morale, and reduce disciplinary problems. At Buffalo State, EAP is also actively involved with the Buffalo State Critical Incident Stress Management team.
EAP coordinators are available to meet with employees on an as-needed basis in a location on campus that is agreeable to both parties. If you need help with a personal or family problem, please contact one of the following campus coordinators.
All calls and discussions are strictly confidential.
David Cummings, ext. 5122
Ann Ellement, ext. 4811
Warren Hoffman, ext. 4169
Steve Newton, ext. 5808
Karl Shallowhorn, ext. 5910
Confidential voice mail, ext. 6699
EAP Web site: www.buffalostate.edu/offices/hr/eap.asp
The EAP Committee plans to set up informational tables in various buildings on campus throughout the year. If you see one in your area, please stop by and say hello.