Workers are trying to use employer-sponsored employee assistance program and wellness services to help them survive the economic downturn, human resources consultants say.
In some cases, laid-off workers are asking EAPs for help with tasks such as finding food pantries, according to Harris, Rothenberg International L.L.C., New York.
In other cases, “people are using EAPs as a suicide hotline,” says Edward Trieber, managing director of Harris Rothenberg.
Call volume at the EAP operations the firm reviewed increased only 10% in 2008, but the volume of financial services-related calls increased 13%, and the intensity of the calls appears to be increasing, Harris Rothenberg reports.
“Work-life” support program calls also are increasing more on financial assistance issues, the firm says.
“People who have lost their jobs or fear losing their jobs are calling for information about and referrals for career consulting, resume preparation, low-cost health insurance and other related needs,” the firm says.