UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a confidential and voluntary counselling support service that provides you and your family with the help you need to resolve a wide range of personal, work, health or life issues. Expert information and immediate support resources are available in-person and by phone, video, web or mobile app.
UBC’s EFAP service provider, Shepell, provides both short-term counselling and work/health/life consultations to all eligible UBC faculty and staff and their dependent family members, at no cost to users other than the cost of your monthly premiums. EFAP is also available to UBC retirees and eligible surviving family of UBC faculty and staff who enrol in this program through the Retirement & Survivor Benefits Program.
Overview of EFAP Services:
- Available for all eligible UBC staff, faculty and their dependents, as well as UBC retirees and eligible surviving family members
- Provides accessible, confidential, voluntary and immediate (if needed) counselling
- Short-term, solution-focused counselling
- Available 24/7, 365 days
- Categories of services include:
- Counselling (i.e. anxiety, relationships, stress, depression, addiction)
- Work/health/life consultations (i.e. health coaching, nutrition, family and eldercare support)
- Professional advice (i.e. financial, legal, and career advice)
- Counselling available via eight modalities including in-person, phone, instant chat, e-counselling, video, online group counselling, and self-directed learning (Health & Wellness Resource kits)
- Additional services include online programs for stress management, relationship, separation and divorce, financial planning, and smoking cessation
- My EAP app gives access to immediate, confidential and secure access to EFAP on any mobile device
What you can expect when calling Shepell’s Care Access Centre (CAC):
Shepell’s CAC is available 24 hours, seven days a week, at 1-800-387-4765. When calling the confidential CAC, after the language prompt, there are three selections:
- Press 1 for immediate counselling
- Press 2 to schedule an EFAP service based on need
- Press 3 for critical incident debriefing (for onsite crises)
Emergency counselling services are available. If you are experiencing a personal crisis and require immediate counselling services, call 1-800-387-4765, choose your language preference, and press 1 for immediate access to a counsellor. If you want to arrange an in-person counselling session during this call, an appointment will be set up within 24 hours.
Clients can make requests for specific needs and the general wait time to see a counsellor in person is within five business days (non-emergency counselling). If you have specific preferences, you may have to wait longer than five business days. For example, if you request an in-person appointment with a female counsellor in Burnaby on a weekend, you may wait longer than five business days.
In-person counselling through EFAP is available at many different locations. Shepell’s main offices are located in downtown Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, Kelowna and Kamloops. Other private offices in the Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan are also available.
What you can expect when making a counselling appointment:
Clients should approach counselling, and their counsellor with an open mind.
The scope of EFAP is to provide short-term, solution-focused counselling. While there is no set limit to the number of counselling sessions a person can use, it is meant to provide short-term, solution-based counselling to assist with specific issues. Referrals can be made based on the counsellor’s assessment for issues that may require long-term, on-going support.
Counselling for crises/traumatic events and critical incident debriefing assistance at a department or faculty are available with a quick turnaround time. Either a HR advisor or a HR manager at a department or faculty can contact Shepell to request this service (different from a personal crisis situation).
All EFAP services are confidential and UBC is not informed of the identity of those using EFAP services.
All Shepell counsellors have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a related field and a minimum of five to 10 years of EFAP counselling experience in a variety of clinical areas. In-person, telephone and video counselling are all available in multiple languages.
After your first counselling session, any additional sessions will be booked directly through your counsellor. You do not need to call the Care Access Centre (CAC) to book a subsequent appointment unless you are seeking support for an unrelated issue or a new case.
Help for all mental health issues is available, including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, addiction, self-esteem, etc.
Additional support services are also included. You can access many other WorkLife support services through EFAP. These include financial and legal support, career counselling, nutrition support and health coaching. Shepell’s website includes many additional resources, including self-directed online programs and a collection of articles.
Work/Life services are telephonic. These services are different from clinical counselling in that they are resource-based, done over the phone and delivered by professionals with designated credentials based on the area of expertise (e.g. registered dietitian for nutrition).
Feedback about EFAP services and counsellors is encouraged. When accessing services and after you have completed sessions, you will be given a paper satisfaction survey or directed to an online survey. Feedback can also be provided by contacting the Care Access Centre (CAC). This evaluation data is used by Shepell to improve services and Shepell provides summary reports back to UBC (identity of those who provided feedback is not disclosed to UBC).
For more information, including requesting brochures, booking an EFAP orientation presentation, or sharing compliments or concerns about your counselling experience with Shepell, please contact:
Health & Wellbeing Associate