By Melissa Lafrance on December 5, 2018
For people who struggle with substance use and addictions, it can sometimes be difficult to seek out help and support. It is important to know that no matter how you are feeling, you are not alone. Whether you are looking for help for yourself or supporting a loved one, reach out. Help is available.
Tara’s Concerns: When you are worried about your teenager
Tara is a mother of two and notices that one of her teenage sons is exhibiting addictive behaviours. Lucas has hinted that he might be experimenting with drugs and alcohol and that it has become a coping mechanism. When Tara has brought up her concerns around substance use, Lucas has become angry, hostile and defensive and has become increasingly emotionally distant. Worried about his safety and wellbeing, she’s in need of finding help for herself and Lucas.
Confidential Addiction and Parenting Support:
The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), provided by Morneau Shepell, is a confidential and voluntary counselling support service. 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. Tara and Lucas would be able to connect with a professional that specializes in substance use and addiction to receive short-term counselling in they own home at a time that is convenient for them.
Tara can also access parenting advice that will help her communicate with her teenage sons about serious issues. This can be in the form of a consultation and/or she can read the many articles available through www.workhealthlife.com, including this one on having the big talk. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
If the situation requires specialized care or long-term counselling, Morneau Shepell will work to find resources to best meet individual needs and budget.
UBC’s Extended Health Plan also provides reimbursement of counselling services. EFAP can refer them to a registered psychologist, social worker or clinical counsellor. Tara and her eligible dependents, 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.
Bruce’s Challenge: When gambling isn’t fun anymore
Bruce has always enjoyed a night out at the casino with friends. A few months ago, after comments from a family member regarding the amount of time he spent gambling, he switched to online poker instead. He also recently had to sell his car to be able to pay his rent. Bruce is feeling increasingly self conscious about his gambling and has begun to question whether or not his habits are cause for concern. He would like to talk to a counsellor about his situation and also needs help figuring out his finances.
How EFAP can help:
EFAP has many addictions-related articles including this one on understanding gambling addiction. EFAP provides confidential short-term, in-person counselling that can help Bruce talk about his concerns and determine if he has a gambling addiction. An EFAP counsellor could help him develop coping strategies and practical tools for abstaining from addictive behaviour, with the goal of maintaining abstinence over time. Bruce can also access First Chat, a confidential chat platform that provides online support any time of day.
Bruce would also be able to access financial consultations over the phone to help with budgeting and debt reduction. If the situation requires specialized care or long-term counselling, Bruce could be referred to a counsellor within the community and be covered through UBC’s Extended Health Plan.
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.
By Melissa Lafrance on August 3, 2017
Our spotlight this month is on the Smoking Cessation Support Services available to UBC staff, faculty and their dependants through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and UBC’s Extended Health Benefits.
If you or a loved one are thinking about quitting smoking, there are some expert tips and tools available to help you:
- Understand why and when you smoke
- Intercept your smoking triggers
- Change how you think and behave
- Prevent relapse
- Build social support networks
- Deal with stress and other obstacles that may challenge your progress
Check out the following resources to help you take steps to quit smoking.
Led by a certified smoking cessation counsellor, Shepell’s program guides clients through a series of phone sessions that aim to help you navigate and problem-solve difficult situations. You also receive a handbook containing exercises and strategies for incorporating your new skills into your daily routines.
The program includes:
- An initial assessment
- Four counselling sessions
- One booster session
- Two aftercare sessions
This interactive and personalized online program offers convenience, security and access anytime, anywhere. Key components of the program include:
- Achieving six major milestones to help quit smoking
- Connecting with an online peer support group that is moderated by health care professionals
To learn more about Shepell’s Smoking Cessation Services, call 1-800-387-4765 or browse their online services.
UBC’s Extended Health Benefits plan provides reimbursement for smoking cessation products that require a prescription, as well as over-the-counter products with a prescription. If you’re enrolled in UBC’s extended benefits plan, you can access up to $300 per year per person for smoking cessation drugs.
The plan also provides coverage for naturopathic services that can include anti-smoking treatments administered by a doctor of naturopathic medicine (ND).
For more details, refer to the information outlined by your UBC Employee Group. For specific drug coverage information, visit the Sun Life Member Website, call Sun Life at 1-800-661-7334 or 1-800-361-6212, or review the details in your Sun Life benefits booklet.
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