What are the benefits of providing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) offer a wide range of benefits for organisations and their employees. By ensuring employees can access support they need, when they need it, organisations can benefit from increased performance and productivity, better retention and attraction staff and savings to the bottom line.

What is an EAP?

An EAP is a free and confidential counselling service that organisations offer to their employees, and in some cases their immediate family members, to assist in managing work related and or personal problems that may be adversely affecting them and their performance at work.

An EAP can assist employees with vast areas of clinical challenges, including but not limited to:

  • Stress management
  • Psychological disorders
  • Addiction
  • Crisis management
  • Grief and loss
  • Sleep issues
  • Anger management
  • Relationships
  • Domestic violence
  • Burnout
  • Bullying/harassment.

The benefits for the organisation

In the workplace, mental illness is a leading cause of absence and lost productivity. By taking proactive action to protect the mental health and wellbeing of employees, the potential benefits are substantial, not only for the individuals, but for the organisation as well.

Research shows that organisations who support the mental health and safety of their employees can benefit from:

  • decreased errors and accidents,
  • increased productivity,
  • better retention of staff,
  • reduced absenteeism, and
  • fewer workers’ compensation claims1.

All of these benefits can contribute to huge financial saving for the organisation. In fact, research conducted by PwC and Beyond Blue has found that organisations who successfully implement effective action to create a mentally healthy workplace, can expect an average return on investment of $2.30 for every dollar invested due to a reduction in absenteeism, presenteeism and workers compensation claims.2

The benefits for employees

Mental illness has a significant impact on all aspects of an individual’s life, including their performance at work, their relationships with family and friends and their ability to participate in the community.

In the 2020-21 National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing conducted by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS), over two in five working aged Australians (43.7%) reported that they had experienced a mental health disorder at some stage in their life, with 1 in 5 (21.4%) having experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.3

Providing accessible, flexible and autonomous support through an EAP can assist employees with a range of mental health and life challenges. In addition to improving their mental health and wellbeing, other benefits for employees can include:

  • feeling like their employer cares about their wellbeing,
  • decreased stress and/or anxiety at work and home,
  • feeling more engaged at work, and
  • having direct and quick access to confidential expert support if and when they need it

Not all EAPs are created equally

EAP programs can differ greatly in the services that they provide, so it can be difficult to know which one will be best.

The Australian Government’s Comcare has released ‘Principles for Better Practice Employee Assistance Programs’ which provides evidence-informed guidance to help organisations
implement an EAP that better meets the needs of their workforce. One of the key guiding principles that they have outlined is to ensure that an EAP offer an inclusive and accessible service delivery model. This includes:

  • Ensuring access is simple and clear for workers
  • Identify the needs of the workforce (e.g., onsite, remote, shift workers, FIFO, etc.)
  • Understanding and providing options for various user preferences (E.g., gender of experience of practitioners)
  • Offering a range of service delivery modes (e.g., phone, face-to-face, video and/or other digital services)
  • Address accessibility needs, including for people with disabilities and those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Provide educational material, using multiple mediums and technologies, to support prevention, promotion and other strategies to address issues impacting the mental health and wellbeing of employees.4

We searched high and low to find what we believe is the best EAP for organisations, and one which is inclusive and highly accessible for their employees. This has led us to Connect Psych Services – Australasia’s premier online counselling provider.

Through the Connect Psych EAP, employees can access 24/7 confidential one-on-one counselling, as well as psychosocial education and critical incident support, to help them improve their mental health and wellbeing, no matter where they are located.

With over 60 expert practitioners (both male and female), who have a variety of backgrounds, speak a multitude of languages, and are sensitive to cultural differences, employees can be matched to the right practitioner for them.

Connect Psych EAP will assist you with supporting the health and wellbeing of your employees and protecting your bottom line.

Find out more here


  1. Richardsen, A.M., Martinussen, M., & Kaiser, S. (2019). Stress, human errors and accidents, Increasing Occupational Health and Safety in Workplaces. In Individual, Work and Organisational Factors. Ronald J. Burke and Astrid M. Richardsen (Eds.), Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: Cheltenham, 48–67.
  2. PwC, Beyond Blue and the National Mental Health Commission 2014, Creating a mentally healthy workplace: Return on investment analysis, https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default source/resources/beyondblue_workplaceroi_finalreport_may-2014.pdf
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2020-21, < https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/mental-health/national-study-mental-health-and-wellbeing/2020-21>
  4. Australian Government Comcare 2022, Principles for Better Practice Employee Assistance Programs, < https://www.comcare.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/319479/principles-for-better-practice-eaps.pdf>

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