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Cynthia Clark, a licensed clinical social worker for Federal Occupational Health, provides awareness of the products and services provided by the Employee Assistance Program and helped to address common concerns of civilian workers. The forum at Little Hall assisted approximately 100 civilians in navigating resources available to government employees. Unique issues were addressed along with common challenges such as taxes, relationships, schools, health, finances, work, family and even child care.

Photo by Ida Irby

Employee Assistance Program, supporting workers of today

28 Jan 2016 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

The lives of civilian Marines don’t end when they venture aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. Job effectiveness is often impacted by shuffling family challenges, emotional/mental health problems or even financial and legal difficulties.

The Human Resources & Organizational Management team organized a town hall meeting at Little Hall Jan. 14 designed to discuss the Employee Assistant Program and a wide range of topics that impact quality of life. The EAP offers specific resources and tools to support civilians working on base.

“Work-life balance is critical to civilian Marines who support the Marine Corps. Our mission is to support the uniformed personnel. It’s critical that we have functioning, happy and healthy relationships at home and work,” said Adrion Whitaker, HROM human resources specialist.

In order to advance the ongoing program aboard MCBQ, Cynthia Clark, field consultant specialist for EAP, led a forum where she offered tips in problem solving, coaching, consultation and resource identification to support employees.

Attendees were informed of the three common components of EAP: counseling services, financial and legal services, and work-life services. They also spoke about negative impacts such as substance abuse issues, death of a coworker and a host of other situations. Information gathering was discussed as a first step of supporting employees. Documentation of performance issues, followed by EAP consultation, will help teams provide proper information to managers and the human resources department.

Clark was flooded with a variety of queries from the audience about benefits available for dependent care. Details of what is considered a household and who is considered a family member offered an opportunity to educate on the most updated policy changes.

“In case of emergency, the EAP is equipped with backup childcare for parents,” said Clark. “Parents can call the EAP and choose from a list of reliable resources.”

The mission of the EAP is to assist civilian employees in resolving personal issues that could negatively affect job performance. The program also assists management in supporting staff and promotes wellness programs aboard the installation. This confidential service is operational to achieve a balance between work and personal responsibilities.

According to Clark, civilian employees were interested in steps taken to adhere to confidentiality. Because EAP is facilitated in accordance with federal and local law, staffs are required to report abuse of children and vulnerable adults, threats of harm, potential suicide and threats to national security.

The Federal Occupational Heath Office Program Appointment Center offers trained, experienced, licensed professional counselors to provide support to management teams 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information call 1-844-366-2327.

— Writer:
Marine Corps Base Quantico