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EAP serves DoD civilians

Posted 11/18/2010   Updated 11/18/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Sarah Olaciregui
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


11/18/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Employee Assistance Program exists as a benefit to support Department of Defense civilians and their families. The program provides free, confidential counseling services on a wide range of wellness and work-life concerns.

The Employee Assistance Program evolved through a partnership between Air Force Materiel Command and Federal Occupational Health. Ina Bachman, a licensed clinical social worker, is the EAP counselor who works on base. Besides counseling, she can help guide employees to appropriate resources and helping agencies.

"EAP not only provides counseling, but also financial and legal services," said Ms. Bachman. "In addition, there is a website, www.foh4you.com, which offers a lot of information. For example, someone who visits the website can search for information on elder care providers in their community."

Ms. Bachman comes to Hanscom on Mondays. Her office is located in the Airman and Family Readiness Center building. However, civilians don't have to wait until a Monday to talk with someone about an issue or concern they are facing.

"My schedule varies," Ms. Bachman said. "I'm at Hanscom on Mondays and the rest of the week I'm in my office at the JFK Building in Boston."

Ms. Bachman also said civilians can take advantage of an affiliate network of private therapists throughout several communities that provide the same services.

"Some employees may not want or have time to visit EAP during the work day," she said. "Others may not want to seek counseling on base. These affiliate networks provide alternatives to fit the needs of the workforce."

In addition to helping with issues that may affect employees outside work, EAP offers assistance in the workplace.

"We offer coaching services," she said. "If a new supervisor wants to improve leadership skills, we can help with that. Maybe there is someone who wants to move ahead and promote, but has anxiety about doing so. We'll coach them through the process. There may be a civilian who wants to learn more about stress management in order to help his or her staff. We will help that person learn more about it."

Ms. Bachman also says the FOH website offers online training videos and articles that can help everyone learn more without leaving their own offices.

"We want to make sure people know we're here and we can help," she said. "A lot of people may have been affected by the recent reorganization. They may be surprised to know they can use EAP to help them adjust to the changes."

While Ms. Bachman says most people come to EAP to seek help with personal issues, such as relationships, depression or workplace stress, EAP can also be used proactively.

"EAP is a great resource that can be used to prevent problems down the road, as well as support people when they go through serious situations. EAP is not just for people who have problems."

Anyone who wishes to learn more about EAP may visit www.foh4you.com or call 1-800-222-0364 to make an appointment with Ms. Bachman or an affiliate provider.



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