Something Happened, Should We Contact the EAP

We had a fire at one of our retail stores. It was a close call, but no one died. Two employees were hospitalized. Should I ask the EAP to visit the employees to deal with the trauma, talk to the hospital [staff], or refer the recovering employees to the EAP later?

Contact the EAP to discuss the situation and the best approach. Typically, EAPs do not initiate counseling with workers, but in a crisis situation and one that is overtly public, offering help will likely be appropriate. The EAP can also contact the hospital or medical providers and encourage them to pull the EAP into the treatment picture. You also can contact the workers and urge their engagement with the EAP. Don’t forget yourself. As a supervisor, you also may be traumatized by fear, concerns, anxiety, or even guilt over some aspect of this event that you believe, even mistakenly, you could have controlled in order to prevent it. So take care of yourself. You weren’t present, but it does not mean you weren’t affected.

From the WellConnect Newsletter.