"We would encourage every employer to consider providing access to this kind of wellbeing support, particularly as they’re such good value too."
- David Williams, head of group risk at Towergate Health & Protection
To measure the extent to which counselling can help employees with their mental health, Towergate Health & Protection’s leading employee assistance programme (EAP) providers utilise professional medical diagnostic questionnaires, including patient health questionnaires (PHQ-9) for depressive symptoms and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) questionnaires.
GAD-7 responses showed that, of those employees measured, anxiety levels (feeling on edge, fear, restlessness, and worry) were moderate to severe before structured therapy. However, these feelings dropped to mild after counselling, with an average improvement of 61.2% in anxiety scores. Similarly, PHQ-9 responses showed that depressive symptoms (lethargy, poor concentration, hopelessness, poor sleep habits) were moderate, bordering on severe, before structured therapy. After counselling, these scores improved by 59.5% for symptoms of depression.
Alongside anxiety and depression, these questionnaires ask employees to what extent they suffer from presenteeism and workplace distress. The figures showed that, after therapy, presenteeism and workplace distress scores decreased by 25.8% and 21.3% respectively.
Towergate Health & Protection believes that these findings prove that EAPs should not be overlooked and should encourage employers to look at implementing them. Short-term models of therapy can provide help for in-the-moment emotional difficulties like anxiety, low mood or depression, stress, or relationship concerns. More complex or trauma-related issues might require an alternative pathway that an EAP can effectively signpost.
Commenting on these findings, David Williams, head of group risk at Towergate Health & Protection, has said:
“These figures are hugely encouraging and prove that counselling via EAPs works. They also show that benefits can be seen by the employer too, which makes providing such support a win-win situation.
“With proof that counselling via EAPs works, and the obvious benefits for employees and the business alike, we would encourage every employer to consider providing access to this kind of wellbeing support, particularly as they’re such good value too – either when offered standalone or incorporated within other benefits, such as group risk.”