We will start with what EAP is not. EAP is not crisis care or urgent care. If you or your loved one are under major stress, duress, facing a medical or mental crisis, contact emergency help. Call 911, contact your primary care physician, or locate an urgent care center. EAP is not built to be care in an emergency or crisis.
At Northstar EAP we pride ourselves on expediting your care. Once you fill out an intake form online, intakes are then processed often times within minutes and sent through to the EAP Counselor or Coach who will then reach out within 1-3 business days to schedule your first session within one to two weeks. EAP is built to address bumps and barriers being faced by the client and assist them getting back to their professional and personal life while building resilience and learning skills to help the client/employee the next time they face a mental health challenge.
Again, we cannot overstate that EAP with any group and organization is there as a support tool and resource. It can be done in parallel with additional care or as a stop gap while you are on a wait list of another counseling professional or practitioner.
EAP is short-term, solution driven mental health and wellness care. EAP is extremely useful for what it is built to address: Mental Health and Wellness Issues, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship Challenges, Workplace Conflict, Life and Career Goals and Questions. Encouraging the mental health and wellness of employees and their families helps to mitigate health care costs, larger issues escalating, and overall organizational productivity and climate improvements.
Northstar is a virtual service based out of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With our counselors located throughout the region, they understand the specific dynamics and landscape of your area. We are real people who serve our organizations and understand the concerns and specific issues that are in play for Northern Michigan, Northern Wisconsin, and Northern Lower Michigan and beyond.
Our personalized approach is structured to help you find professional and personal solutions. We are not looking to check a box, or be a national firm who is out of touch with local concerns. We have become a virtual company with modern adaptations that still is small enough to be personable and nimble to support your business and people.
Northstar EAP has expanded services and offerings to options like Human Resources Consulting, Business Coaching, and access to Counseling and Therapy for various user groups, Health and Wellness and more.
An example of one of the tools each company partner automatically has access to, is TESS. Info listed above)
Other examples of tools and resources is the Northstar Resource Portal. The Northstar Resource Portal, if your employer has selected access, has a content library filled with articles, webinars, videos, health calculators and more. Ask your HR contact if the portal is part of your EAP plan.
Northstar EAP continues to adapt and offer revolutionary mental health technology for those that don’t have access to mental health services or prefer not to seek traditional mental health counseling. Our goal is to make available all forms of mental health support for everyone.
TESS is a FREE virtual chat service providing encouragement and strategies on how to manage everyday stress and anxiety available to Northstar EAP company partners and clients.
A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. Our professional social workers can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and addiction. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. They can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking help. Counseling provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
People have many different motivations for coming to us. Some may be going through a major life transition (a stressful move, divorce, troubled children, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Counseling can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking counseling are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous session. It is most common to schedule regular sessions with your social worker bi-weekly. It is important to understand that you will get more results from counseling if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in the sessions, your counselor may suggest some things you can do at home to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking counseling are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and counselor. Successful counseling requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the counselor’s office. Sometimes, however, you may want your counselor to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team or employer (you’re your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your counselor cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission. However, state law and professional ethics require social workers (counselors) to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
PHQ-9 stands for Patient Health Questionnaire. The PHQ-9 form is a brief, self-administered questionnaire that assesses depression symptoms. Having our clients fill this out on the form gives our EAP counselors a better sense of your overall health and wellbeing prior to your first session.
The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD-7) is a seven-item instrument that is used to measure or assess the severity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Having our clients fill this out on the form gives our EAP counselors a better sense of your overall health and wellbeing prior to your first session.
If you have a preference based on what you want to address in the sessions you can make that known on your intake form. If you would like a specific counselor you can ask if they are in our network, we are always happy to expand our counseling team. If you are searching for a specialty, certification or qualification in a counselor, you should explore private pay or insurance covered options with other providers matched to your wants and needs. Northstar works with licensed EAP Counselors who are subject matter experts and suited to help with the various issues and challenges EAP addresses.