By Mr. Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)February 9, 2017
Are you dealing with a substance abuse problem, parenting issues, a work conflict or even a negative financial situation? If so, the staff of the Fort Leonard Wood Employee Assistance Program might be able to provide solutions to get you back on the "right track."
According to Jeff Cohen, EAP coordinator, people often forget about the resources the EAP can provide for the civilian workforce and their Families, Army retirees and their Families and civilian military dependents.
"Everyone hits a rough patch every now and then, and no one is an expert on all things," Cohen said. "The EAP is a great way to find out what you might not know, instead of trying to start from scratch reinventing the wheel."
"More than likely, someone else has already experienced what you might be experiencing," he added.
Other common reasons people seek EAP help include anger issues, grief and loss, relationship difficulties or anything that is having a negative effect on work performance or productivity. The EAP is a free resource for those who qualify.
Cohen said the program is not mental health or clinical counseling, but rather "solution-focused" counseling. "It's the kinds of things medical insurance won't cover," Cohen said.
"We can point you in the right direction or just be an ear to bend," he added. "Sometimes it can be hard to find someone just to listen. Talking things out can make you feel a whole lot better."
Cohen said if a client's problems are beyond the scope of what they can help within three to five sessions, they are able to make referrals for medical help or other community resources.
"Sometimes people feel stuck, especially in job situations; feel like the system is not a fair playing field with things skewed to their disadvantage … sometimes after talking, they leave here with a plan-of-action that can give them a sense of encouragement," Cohen said.
EAP staff members are able to screen for substance abuse and can connect people with community resources such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Cohen said the program is completely confidential and files are never part of the personnel file or medical record. The only time EAP staff members disclose information is for a few specific exceptions which pertain to safety, or certain situations where they are required to be disclose information by law. Otherwise, the service is confidential, and information can only be disclosed with written permission. Supervisors are only made aware of an employee's voluntary usage of the program when the employee seeks to use services during work hours.
"The EAP coordinator office is discreetly tucked out of the way, next door to Retirement Services, in Room 2112, Building 470," Cohen said. "It's easy to miss the room, so that helps with privacy."
Vicki Braun, manager of the Army Substance Abuse Program which oversees EAP, said the discreet location lends itself to a more confidential environment. She encourages people to take the step to get any assistance they may need.
"The Employee Assistance Program located on the installation is a great advantage to (the community)," Braun said. "This on-site location helps reduce time required for visits as opposed to having to go off the installation."
For more information, contact Cohen at 573.596.0131, ext. 67199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.