View Full Version : Mandatory EAP referral

06-04-16, 07:28 PM
I have been given a mandatory EAP referral as part of an employee performance plan. Does anyone has an experience with this?

Was it valuable?

I have not disclosed my ADD to my employer and am not sure I will disclose it with EAP.


06-04-16, 08:26 PM
There isn't enough detail in your post. Why were you referred to the eap?

06-04-16, 08:38 PM
Oh i didn't fully read. Ok my advice. Your life is wonderful, you're happy, everything is roses. Do not disclose.

06-04-16, 10:41 PM
Basically referred because I said I am a non confrontational type of person, both in my personal life and professional. They want me to figure out why that is.

I also said I was trying to start a family and have been unsuccessful, plus all the workplace stress

Little Nut
06-04-16, 11:47 PM
MY experience is;

EAP = Employee Assistance Plan

It is the process for "helping" employees w/ substance abuse or mental health issues that cause performance issues at work.

Mandatory Referral to EAP iirc was required for individuals that failed drug testing and those having identified issues associated w/ unacceptable performance.

Mandatory meant failure to seek assistance via EAP would result in disciplinary action.

Sound like the EAP you are referring to?

06-05-16, 06:02 AM
I don't have much experience with employee assistance programs. (I think my employer has one, through our medical insurance company, but I haven't used it.)

Presumably your employer is contracting an outside organization to do this, so disclosing ADHD through your counselor (or whatever) in the EAP is not the same as disclosing to your employer. These things are supposed to be confidential. I'm not sure how reliable that actually is.

The Wikipedia article on employee assistance programs ( is low-quality, but it has this telling sentence: "Confidentiality is maintained in accordance with privacy laws and ethical standards.[citation needed]"

I think you're safe to disclose ADHD to the EAP counselor if it comes up. (Granted, I say this as someone who already disclosed at work just because keeping secrets is a pain.) If you're determined to make sure your employer has the smallest possible chance of finding out about your ADHD, then maybe keep it quiet, just in case.

Licensed counselors are supposed to be able to make mental health diagnoses. If you get a good counselor, your ADHD is relevant to your situation, and you keep your ADHD a secret--who knows?--they might even re-diagnose you! Or, more likely, recognize some ADHD traits and recommend that you see a psychiatrist for that purpose.

06-05-16, 10:46 AM
Little nut, yes this is the type of EAP I am referring to.

I am not being referred for ADD or drugs, or alcohol. Being refereed because I am a non confrontational person, and I told them o am stressed because we are trying to start a family.

My question is how much do I share? Do I just go through the motions or do I really use this?

I have not taken ADD meds in over 10 years, not saying I would not be open to that again, but not sure that is the problem. I have a very stressful job. I am interrupted from my daily work flow constantly, like every 5 mins. So my workplace does add some stress and ADD tendencies in itself.

06-05-16, 11:13 AM
I was referred to the EAP program about 6-7 years ago when I was still a state employee. I resigned in order to preserve my health and sanity.

I had issues with missing a lot of time and some interpersonal stuff due to the huge amount of stress of me bringing unethical issues to light and being targeted by administration, as well as trying to juggle going to college, working f/t, and being a f/t stepmom to two kids.

They told me, "We need to get our key employee back on track because there's obviously something wrong. Something must be breaking down in your life."

I was only allowed to use certain providers that were approved under the EAP, of course, which greatly limited my options within the pool of professionals we have in the area.

I went through several counselors. One who fell asleep on me mid-session, one who treated our sessions like bible class instead of therapy, one who insisted on speaking to me in a very heavy paternalistic tone, and one who finally recognized I may be dealing with some adhd. I had no clue anyone would even think that since I was now an adult.

However, ALL of them ignored the fact that I had been sexually abused multiple times throughout my life and had dealt with heavy and frequent domestic abuse in my twenties, even after full disclosure.

I also saw two psychiatrists under the EAP umbrella. One of which spent a grand total of 15 minutes with me and decided I had severe depression and wrote a script for effexor and said to call if it didn't help.

The other one spent a few hours with me asking a bunch of questions and decided I had severe adhd, severe anxiety, severe depression, and "some type of personality disorder" he just couldn't quite figure out. I was expecting to perhaps get one named after me and have it be a groundbreaking discovery. (haha)

He sent me home with 3 or 4 prescriptions, along with several bottles of supplements, all of which made me feel I needed to scrape my a** off the ceiling. Those two also ignored the sexual and domestic abuse in our discussions and I ultimately ended up in much worse shape than I was when I arrived in their offices seeking help.

EAP didn't work for me as far as regaining any health or clarity within my own life, other than learning what not to do and who not to seek out in the future.

It feels to me that had I chose to snap instead of resign, they would have simply responded by saying, "She was seeking mental health services. We don't know what was wrong."

The unethical stuff never got addressed because, well, state run systems and those who heavily support them have ways of covering each others' behinds to ensure they can continue with business as usual.

I had no choice at the time because it was either seek help via their suggested methods or receive infractions and possibly lose my job, and that fear kept me in their grips for quite a while.

I wish you much luck in whatever you decide.

06-05-16, 12:04 PM

thank you! This sounds very familiar to me. I feel targeted by some of the administration for finally opening my mouth about the issues within our department. We have been short handed since I started with the company about 3 years ago. I brought some of these issues to HR about 2 weeks ago, because HR is clueless. No one has every said anything, they all just quit.

they told me, you don't smile anymore, your not happy. The last two weeks have been a different person. It was reported I was seen crying in my office the last few weeks. We want you to be happy, even this that is not within our company.

I have not missed any time of work, I come in every day and do what is needed, but am so stressed out its not even funny. I think I finally blew and said I need help!

My concern with the EAP referral is what your talking about-who will I have to see? How much choice is there? Will they understand my issues or just push some drugs on me and say here go. Is there a limit on how many appointments I have? How much info can get back to my employer? Do I tell EAP that I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid, or do I let them try to figure it out? Can that info get back to my employer or will my employer just know that I showed up and that is all? Obviously I have not disclosed the ADD to my employer before and didn't really plan to.

I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid, but its been years since I have taken anything for it, and talked with anyone about it. In all honesty, I feel as though I cover it up pretty well in my work life, maybe I don't....

I am kind of at the point where I just want to leave this job and start over, because I do feel targeted and like i am being pushed out. I am being moved to a position that has had 8 people in it in the last 3 years. I feel like I am being set up to fail.

06-05-16, 12:33 PM
Honestly, what business of theirs is it about your mood or smiling?
Was that a job requirement, that you be happy all the time?
Our EAP for is for seeking your on mental health help through the employers mental health referral people. I guess I never thought about if the employer would refer and employee specifically.
Scary that it can happen for such personal reasons.

Little Nut
06-05-16, 12:39 PM
I will give you my opinions, but handling this badly can have a major impact on you, your marriage, and your job. Do not misinterpret my suggestions for sound legal guidance. It is that you seem a wee bit overwhelmed and need a little support to begin figuring out how you and your family are going to address these issues.

Bear in mind you have likely started down the road of being identified for poor job performance and are in your companies equivalent of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).

I can't possibly answer what is the best way to address the EAP and your job performance issues, but my experience with programs like this is that they exist to force the situation to a head quickly and legally. They help you to improve job performance or help to legally discharge you if performance doesn't improve quickly enough with nothing in between.

Your company is going to have this process documented and available to you. You need copies regarding employee performance evaluations and performance improvement procedures. You also need copies of the procedures detailing the EAP and specifically mandatory referrals. If you don't know where these are or how to obtain copies, ask the supervisor that made the mandatory referral, your immediate supervisor, or an HR type.

Read these procedures, understand them, and take notes. Involve your husband and figure out how you are going to address it. Figure out how much you are going to utilize the EAP. At some point you and your husband may feel that you need legal counsel.

In most cases the quickest/easiest way to resolve these issues is to improve your job performance to acceptable levels.

Please remember even though you may be working with medical professionals through the EAP, they are not paid by you. This means they have professional/legal requirements with regards to you, but they also have professional/legal requirements to their client. OTOH if you feel you need counselling/therapy/treatment by a medical professional and you hire them through your insurance or whatever, their professional/legal requirements are pretty much just to you. I really HTH. Regards, -LN

06-05-16, 12:57 PM
Can EAP disclose what is discussed or found with my employer?

For example, if I tell EAP I was dx with ADD as a kid and I think that its affecting my work now and I am interested in being put on meds for it again. Can that be told to my employer?

Little Nut
06-05-16, 01:46 PM
I donno Casper, but I bet the answer is maybe depending on specifics. In all honesty you have very good questions, but this is not the place that you will find good answers to them.

Little Missy
06-05-16, 02:53 PM
I would go and do poker face, occasional smile with a vague response, and offer nothing of any value.

The whole thing just smacks of not sounding legal to me.

06-05-16, 03:11 PM
Our EAP plan afforded us 4 free sessions at the time, then we had to pay co-pays that was determined by the insurance if we chose to continue with their services.

I don't think they ever disclosed any details to the employer, but I ultimately did myself, in hopes of having them be more understanding of what I was dealing with amongst everything else. (it happened to be a vocational rehab center, which I thought would surely show more No sympathy or empathy was found.

Only one other employee was willing to accompany me to the director's office to validate that what I was presenting was very real. She has since taken her own life.

I, too, sought help with HR, but quickly discovered their loyalty lies within the facility, NOT with the individuals. However, early on, I was convinced they gave a damn by the way they faked such deep concern, and laid it on thick.

I also had a supervisor who I think may have been using my attempts at holding folks accountable as a way for her to help some other "chosen ones" get where she wanted them to be.

It was a hot mess and I'm so glad to be free of those energies.

06-05-16, 05:15 PM
My concern with the EAP referral is what your talking about-who will I have to see? How much choice is there? Will they understand my issues or just push some drugs on me and say here go. Is there a limit on how many appointments I have? How much info can get back to my employer? Do I tell EAP that I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid, or do I let them try to figure it out? Can that info get back to my employer or will my employer just know that I showed up and that is all? Obviously I have not disclosed the ADD to my employer before and didn't really plan to.

It'll probably vary between different programs, but the impression I get is that it generally works like this:

You will probably see a counselor (e.g. LPC). My experience with counselors suggests they tend to deal primarily with emotional issues, whether it's a mood disorder or something bad happened to you or both. It seems psychiatric disabilities like ADHD aren't really something they can deal with directly, although they can give you counseling for the emotional stress that comes as a result of ADHD symptoms, and I think they are technically qualified/allowed to diagnose ADHD. Either way, they can't prescribe medications.

The EAP company might employ counselors directly, but they most likely just contract counselors. (Some of the same people you'd be able to hire without going through the EAP.) They will give you a list of counselors in your area to choose from.

I think you probably won't be able to see a psychiatrist through the EAP, but they should be able to refer you to a psychiatrist if needed.

There are probably a limit of how many free counseling sessions you get, about three or four.

Here's something that might work: Use the EAP's free counseling sessions to try out a counselor, or multiple counselors, if you find one you like, hire that person outside of the EAP.

Even though your employer is making the EAP mandatory, they might accept it if you get counseling on your own. If that sounds like a better idea, it's worth asking your employer if that's okay.

Do you know what company does your employer's EAP? They might have a website or something. Here's a website of one such company (, in case that's helpful. The exact policies and services are likely different at another similar company though.

Can EAP disclose what is discussed or found with my employer?

I'm pretty sure they are not allowed to disclose anything to your employer. (Are you in the USA? It should be protected under HIPAA.) However, just because it's not allowed doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen, but you'd probably be able to sue their butts off afterward if they pass the info on to your employer without your permission.

They should have some kind of written confidentiality policy. Ask to see it.

Honestly, what business of theirs is it about your mood or smiling?
Was that a job requirement, that you be happy all the time?
Our EAP for is for seeking your on mental health help through the employers mental health referral people. I guess I never thought about if the employer would refer and employee specifically.
Scary that it can happen for such personal reasons.
I guess the idea behind it is when they perceive your emotional problems are interfering with your job? (Casper mentioned having an "employee performance plan," so I guess her job performance has been deemed inadequate.)

Like their thought process is "We want to fire you for doing a bad job, but you've done a good job in the past and we think you will start doing a good job again if you get some counseling. So if you get some counseling, you won't be fired!" (Could also apply if they're dissatisfied with your work but not yet on the verge of firing you.)

06-05-16, 07:48 PM

Interesting way of looking at it, but also very true. Needless to say it's best to kept my mouth shut about ADHD.

I will prob stick with my story if being stressed out in my job and go from there.

Thanks for the help all

06-09-16, 01:38 AM
This post may be too late but I wouldn't say anything about ADHD. I'm on a Nursing forum sort of like this one and and a nurse went to her hospital's EAP (not sure if it was willingly or not) where she disclosed things and then her unit directors knew about them when she never told anyone on her unit.

I don't trust EAPs at all.

06-09-16, 09:38 PM
Interesting. Thank you for the heads up

06-10-16, 08:51 AM
As far as disclosure to the EAP goes, investigate. Talk to the EAP provider and ask about confidentiality. What information gets reported back to the employer?

For example, at the hospital where I work, there are general statistics kept, but nothing that would identify the individuals accessing supports. The EAP provider basically submits data about how many people access their service, and statistics showing general groupings of the types of issues that they address with their clients (e.g. 30% mental health issues, 25% workplace stress, 10% home/family issues, 5% workplace violence/bullying issues) They would not do the latter if there was any chance that the numbers would single out individuals.

The EAP should be able to tell you what they can/can't do to protect your confidentiality.

06-11-16, 03:19 PM

Tell them a little as possible. I've had good jobs and bad jobs that were not ADD friendly. This last one I have been here for thirteen years the, last 7 years on medication. In the bad jobs they focused on my faults (of which I now know are add trait) with little appreciation for my talents. It only exacerbated my ADD cause I was so stressed out about being picked apart. one thing I got called on the carpet was for my people skills which were at times questionable.

My advice is you best bet would be to start spreading your resume' around. don't do anything drastic. just quietly keep your eyes out for a new job. life is a lot nicer when you have a job where you are being attacked or nit-picked. I'm speaking from personal experience.

another bit of advise is find an ADD support group in your area. meeting other people like yourself make a big difference. you don't feel like such an oddball. Plus there is something about talking to people face to face verses on-line. I go to a group every month. My only complaint is it doesn't meet more often.

good-luck Casper


06-13-16, 10:38 PM
My people skills seem to be in question as well. I too don't really believe that is valid.

I am afraid to start over again with a job. I can only imagine being at the same job for 13 years. What do you do?

I plan to tell them I am stressed out, and see how far that gets me.

A support group sounds good, but I haven't the faintest idea where to look. Plus Iam incredibly shy about sharing my add with others, even though I know I should not be

06-14-16, 02:09 AM
I am a cook. I do a lot more than cook. But it is easier to just say cook. I've been in food service for over 30 years. Retirement is looking good The support group is other people with ADD. It's nice knowing there are other people like me.

06-14-16, 02:18 AM
Life is easier when you tell people. It gets easier every time you tell someone.That was my biggest hurdle. I had to embrace ADD. Talking about it to other people was part of my healing process. For years I lived in shame. Because I was told by my parents that I would outgrow my "brain damage" I felt like a freak causes I still had issues.

11-03-16, 11:54 PM
I wonder, is sensitivity to unethical behavior something very common among those with ADHD? Most of my work issues revolved around the way I spoke out against these things. hmmmm

11-07-16, 08:04 AM
OH that's a very interesting question.

I would have to say yes, at least in my rxperience