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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 Karen Roberts

Our network of clinical associates are located in the following areas:

  • Central London
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Bury
  • Cambridge
  • Canterbury
  • Colchester
  • Crawley
  • Derby
  • Doxford
  • Exeter
  • Ipswich
  • Maidstone
  • Norwich
  • Plymouth
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Lancaster
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Sunderland
  • Newcastle
  • Preston
  • Liverpool
  • Derby
  • Lincoln
  • Cardiff
  • Leeds
  • Andover
   
 
Mitchell Practice Ltd, No 3 Jacobs Well Mews, London, W1U 3DU. Company Number 8879036 (Trading as Mitchell Practice)

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