EMPLOYEE SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
In 1989 the personnel director of a major bank based in London became aware that
many employees were showing signs of stress and anxiety but were not doing anything
proactive about it. They were not taking time off to see their GP and were not going
to the company doctor. Sometimes fears about managers finding out that they “were
having difficulties coping” prevented them from doing anything.
Many of these people struggled on gradually slipping downhill until they became
ill. He approached us to ask if we could set up a psychological treatment service,
which could be made available to employees of the bank on an entirely confidential
basis. He wanted focussed professional psychological expertise rather than general
counselling or some type of telephone service.
We set up a referral scheme for him and since then we have set up similar schemes
for other types of organisations in widely varying types of business – professional
service firms, utilities companies, advertising and consultancy businesses. An employee
support program would allow employees to have direct access to our practice for
assessment and help on stress related and psychological issues. Employees would
contact us to make an appointment without having to go through a company doctor,
or GP. The scheme ensures they are seen quickly by a psychologist at our offices
in London, or at one of our associates offices throughout the UK.
The treatment approach is focused, based on problem solving and contemporary cognitive
techniques. Sessions are limited to an agreed number of sessions. In most cases
a relatively small number of sessions is sufficient to help someone who comes along
at an early stage in the development of a stress related condition.
Although names of individuals are confidential we provide regular updates to the
company on the number of individuals seen and what it might be telling us about
what is going on in the company. We would also meet with the HR departments or Occupational
Health on a regular basis to discuss referral trends.
We also provide educational sessions on stress and managing work pressures as a
way of introducing the service. We have a network of Clinical psychologists and
cognitive behaviour therapist working in association with us to cover client companies'
regional offices across the country. By making it easier for employees to access
professional help at an early stage more serious stress related illness can be prevented
Managing sickness absence
The employee support programme provides an opportunity for referral at the earliest
point in the management of sickness absence. The programme provides information
about any work causal aspects to the difficulty. An informal round table meeting
could be arranged and would normally include an occupational health adviser, HR,
the employee and the treating therapist. Discussions include the creation
of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan together with monitoring of progress.
This unique approach works in partnership whereby the needs of the company
are balanced with the needs of the employee. The employee benefits from easy
confidential access to the best clinical care available. Further benefits
include a structured professional approach which focuses on relapse prevention into
the longer term. Contact
Our network of clinical associates are located in the following areas:
- Central London