The telephones at a major employee assistance program are ringing much more often.

Aetna Inc., Hartford, said call volume at its EAP call centers was 60% higher in the third quarter than it was in the third quarter of 2008.

The numbers of calls related to financial distress increased 55%, and the number of calls from members seeking help with legal problems increased 5%.

The number of calls involving anxiety or panic disorders increased 7%.