ROBINS AFB, Ga. — For civilian employees of Air Force Reserve Command who need a little helping hand in dealing with any of life’s myriad challenges, assistance is just a phone call or a mouse click away.
As of Oct. 1, the Air Force started offering Federal Occupational Health’s Employee Assistance Program and Worklife4You services to all of its civilian employees, to include air reserve technicians, free of charge.
“This is great news for our civilian employees,” said Brande Newsome, community support program manager at AFRC headquarters, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. “What this means is many of the services that have been available to our military members for years through Military One Source are now available to all of our civilian Airmen.”
Newsome said that in the past, access to EAP was available to civilians at some Air Force bases but not others. The situation changed when the Air Force directed that EAP is made available to its entire civilian workforce.
EAP is a professional service that provides information, consultation, problem-solving counseling, resource identification and support to all civilian employees and their immediate family members.
“Civilians just need to call (toll-free) 1-800-222-0364 from anywhere in the United States to receive immediate assistance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Newsome said.
Civilians can also obtain information and resources online at FOH4You.com. The website provides easy access to educational materials, self-assessment tools and specific information on available EAP services.
EAP’s mission is to enhance employee and workplace effectiveness through prevention, identification, and resolution of personal and productivity issues.
“People who call the 1-800 number or visit the website have the opportunity to talk with a licensed, credentialed master’s degree professional who can help with marital, family and relationship problems, work-related problems, financial and legal problems, as well as a host of other difficulties,” Newsome said.
All support is provided on a confidential basis and can be done via telephone or face to face with a local provider.
“Six sessions are allowed per problem,” Newsome said. “And while EAP consultants are trained to help with a host of life’s most common and pressing problems, they don’t diagnose or treat medical or psychiatric problems. If someone needs medical or psychiatric care, they’re referred to appropriate providers in the community.”
In addition to providing individual assistance to civilians, EAP also provides rapid, on-site critical incident response when offices or work areas are faced with exposure to threats, acts of violence, natural disasters, injury or death. EAP’s national crisis response team assists in management consultations and critical incident services, and follow-up with the organization and individuals is provided as appropriate.
Newsome said WorkLife4You is a separate program from EAP that is designed specifically to provide expert consultations, pre-screened referrals to local resources and comprehensive educational materials to assist with:
• Child care and parenting
• Adult care and aging
• Education and career development
• Health and wellness
• Daily life needs.
“Suppose you are placed in a position of having to care for an aging parent, and you are looking for some help so you can provide the best care to your loved one,” Newsome said. “Air Force civilians have 24/7 access to WorkLife4You services, which can provide a free in-person consultation from a professional care manager.”
The PCM will listen to the employee’s particular concerns and needs and, if necessary, arrange to have an assessment conducted in the home, hospital or care facility. The employee is then provided with a detailed, actionable care plan based on this assessment.
“WorkLife4You also has a number of kits available to help our civilians with specific life events and common caregiving challenges,” Newsome said.
Included are prenatal, college, adult caregiver, child safety and be-well kits.
Civilians can access WorkLife4You services by calling the same EAP 1-800 number or by visiting www.worklife4you.com.
“It is no secret that when people are having trouble dealing with personal or family problems, it can have a negative effect on their health, happiness and how well they are able to do their job,” Newsome said. “As a result, making EAP and WorkLife4You services available to all of our civilian employees can assist with problem resolution, improvement in the quality of life, and increased effectiveness at home and at work.”