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Utilizing EAPs and Peer Recovery Coaches to Support, Retain and Hire Staff

What is an Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)?

An EAP offers services like counseling, referrals to health professionals, and other resources for employees within the organization. The program will often address issues with mental health, including substance misuse. They can also assist an employee with other difficulties, such as financial issues and legal problems. An EAP is intended to encourage employees to reach out for help.

Employers who provide EAPs encompass them into an overall wellness program that can offer benefits to workers who are struggling with behavioral health issues. An EAP provides the employee with a safe and confidential environment to discuss their issues regarding addiction.

Peer Recovery Coaches

A new and effective option for employee's struggling with addiction are Peer Recovery Coaches. Peer Recovery Coaches are trained professionals in the behavioral health field who have personal experience with addiction and recovery.

SAMHSA states that a peer specialist (also known as a certified peer specialist, peer support specialist, recovery employment coach, etc.) is a person who uses his or her lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, plus skills learned in formal training, to deliver services to promote mind-body recovery and resiliency.

Studies have found that peer support significantly improves recovery outcomes including decreased morbidity and mortality, reduced use of emergency services, improved self-reported health status, and self-care skills, and improved quality of life.

Because of this, peer support is now the fastest growing service for people in recovery and employers are utilizing the power of peer recovery services to support and retain their staff and hire people in recovery.

Recovery Employment Coaches

There is substantial evidence showing that Peer Recovery Coaches or Peer Employment Coaches can provide vocational mentorship pre-and-post employment by offering supportive services to instill hope, enhance self-esteem and overall life skills while promoting wellness for work.

Recovery Employment Coaches provide staff with the support they need to navigate addiction and work-related issues, access treatment and other local resources, and support to ensure recovery and success in the workplace.

Recovery Employment Coaches provide:

  • Emotional support - Every coaching session starts from a place of empathy and understanding. The purpose of a coach is to provide a supportive, non-judgement and neutral sounding board, help employees to find balance, and empower them to build emotional resilience.

  • Stress management - As individuals in recovery who have been there and understand, recovery coaches know first-hand the stress associated with addiction and resulting behavioral health issues. They can help employees build and practice valuable life skills that result in positive changes in their work creativity and productivity.

  • Goal setting and actionable accountability - Coaches work collaboratively with employees to help them form clear, actionable goals and plans to move their life and work in a positive direction.

RBA has qualified Recovery Employment Coaches available to interact directly with employers and employees. Our coaches are trained on how to access and refer employees to local recovery support resources and to provide evidence-based peer support when it is needed most. Our coaches are a reliable resource for when employees need to process challenges in the workplace and need to speak about their problems with key staff. Coaches can be accessed by management teams, HR staff and employees via email, phone, video conference and in-person.

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