Request for EAP CIR after a sexual harassment allegations, claims, investigations and subsequent job actions, like termination, of high level employees have been increasing. The sudden exposure and exit of executive leadership and public figures have stunned institutions, colleagues and the general public. What is usually investigated internally and as confidentially as possible, the #MeToo movement has ripped open the curtain and news has rippled down through the ranks creating internal shake ups, policy review, and cultural awakening. EAPs have been asked to send onsite counselors to provide services.
Sexual harassment issues are not new to EAPs. Counselors often work with employees who are sorting out their options on how to proceed when they believe they were subject to harassment. EAPs receive referrals from Human Resource professionals when allegations are made, claims substantiated, and may be involved with sensitivity trainings. It can be a delicate and complex process when, as...
Responding to acts of terror that create mass casualties and draw great amounts of media attention, place a strain and drain on EAP resources. We rely on our local response networks to provide primary and secondary EAP CIR. There is a great demand on a limited supply of trained responders. Every EAP and crisis response vendor is calling into the area to secure providers for their EAP clients. Some do this as soon as the incident hits the news by asking providers to be on stand-by and make themselves available for extended hours and return services if needed. Others, do not do anything until the call from the EAP client comes in and by then, they are playing catch up. They must now scramble to find providers. What do you think happens when we exhaust this supply? Two things- the rate of secondary trauma is likely to increase due to increased fatigue levels of responders willing to keep on going, and/or second, untrained professionals are added to the mix.
When I ask affiliate providers, who are attending my EAP CIR workshops, how many EAP panels they are on, I hear responses like, “Oh, I don’t know…40?”
Lesson #5- As soon as you (EAP) know an act of terrorism has occurred, start contacting your providers. There will be a race to secure them. It will simply become supply and demand.
When providers were asked, how will you determine who you will work with? Some say, whoever calls me first; some say, whoever offers the highest rate; and others say, who they like working for. In other words, where there is a partnership. The latter being the most common.
Affiliate providers will be in hot demand for response local or near local to an act of terrorism. EAP and response vendors will be competing for a limited resource. Ask yourself (EAP), “Why should they pick our EAP? What kind of relationship have we developed with them?”
Some tips for EAPs and providers regarding response to acts of terrorism
Did you know that according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, there are over 2650 acts of terrorism committed in U.S. soil over the past 40 years? These were violent acts and threats that fit the FBI’s definition of terrorism. Did you
also know that the most common targets are businesses? Thinking EAP yet? I hope so because the reach of terrorism also extends beyond the epicenter of the attack. While much of our focus and attention goes to the proximity of the incident, as it should, businesses all around the area are impacted. So much so, that we all felt the impact from 9/11, the attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino. All of these incidents challenged our world view, created levels of risk to secondary trauma through media exposure and raised the question within EAPs, how they would respond if it happened to their customer. It’s a necessary exercise for EAPs to work through. We also have learned a few things which is the subject of...
Wellness does not wait for EAPs to arrive. The natural, upward trajectory of resilience begins before EAPs are contacted to go on-site and provide crisis intervention. If this is true, and research demonstrates it is, shouldn’t this be influencing our approach in helping organizations and their employees? Shouldn’t we be capturing this forward momentum and building our interventions around this forward progress? The answer is yes, and deploying an approach that perpetuates resiliency while identifying and responding to those in need of services beyond crisis intervention, begins with how we conceptualize our response approach.
Looking Through the Resiliency Lens
First, we have to be able to recognize it. Behaviors associated with resilience can be as subtle as the first deep breath one takes when the worst of it is over, or the organization reaching their first contact on a phone tree. We are used to looking through the medical model lens. When we do this we see impact. We see injury....