Whether you are the person struggling with substance use or an addiction, or the person trying to support a loved one through their recovery, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, that you can reach out, and that help is available. Read about Mark and Aysha, two employees who are navigating different substance use and addiction challenges.
Mark’s Challenge: When quitting smoking is easier said than done
Mark has a long history of smoking cigarettes. Despite numerous attempts, he has struggled to quit. Recently his friend, who is also a long-time smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer and this has pushed Mark to try and quit smoking for good. However, he’s having a hard time quitting on his own, and has decided that he’s ready to reach out to get help with this.
How EFAP can help:
The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provided by Morneau Shepell is a confidential and voluntary counselling support service. Their counsellors can help with a range of issues, including mental health challenges and substance use or addiction. Services are available in a variety of formats, including video counselling. In Mark’s case, he can connect with a professional counsellor who specializes in substance use and addiction to receive short-term counselling at a time that’s convenient for him.
Mark can also access the Smoking Cessation Online Program: its evidence-based techniques can help Mark develop the skills to handle various life situations without depending on nicotine. There are interactive exercises, goal-setting and action-planning activities, an online support forum, and other tools and resources to help him remain smoke-free. As well, there’s a confidential chat platform called First Chat that provides online support any time of day. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
EFAP may refer Mark to a registered psychologist or clinical counsellor if longer-term counselling services is beneficial. Through UBC’s Extended Health benefits, Mark may be reimbursed for 100% of reasonable and customary charges, up to a maximum of $2,500 per person, per year. No doctor’s referral is required to access this service.
Aysha’s Dilemma: How to support a loved one struggling with an addiction
Aysha’s wife Hannah recently lost her mother. Despite Aysha’s support, Hannah has become withdrawn and absent from home. Last week, Aysha received some concerning comments from Hannah’s colleagues who mentioned that she is not productive at work, that she has been taking excessive sick time and asking multiple co-workers to lend her money for undisclosed reasons. Aysha also found receipts from a nearby casino time-stamped from the middle of the day. When she asked Hannah about the situation, Hannah became extremely defensive and denied Aysha’s allegations. At this point, Aysha isn’t sure how best to approach the situation.
How EFAP’s confidential support services can help:
EFAP offers many addictions-related articles that may help Aysha better understand what her wife is going through and why. EFAP’s confidential, short-term counselling is available in many formats, from in-person to over-the-phone access to counsellors. Aysha can learn how to best to communicate her concerns with Hannah, and find tools and resources on how to support someone who may have a problem with gambling.
For a list of additional resources at UBC and within your community, including help lines, support groups, and harm reduction and treatment options, visit the Substance Use and Addiction Support Resources page.