Confidential counseling, financial services, legal services and more: Employees of the Defense Logistics Agency have all the services available free of charge through the federal Employee Assistance Program.
Cynthia Clark, a licensed clinical social worker who works in McNamara Headquarters Complex Health Unit, discussed the available services at an EAP orientation Jan. 22.
Counseling for DLA government employees is available any time of day or night, she said, by calling 800-222-0364. Regardless of the hour, counselors answer calls immediately, she noted, and no caller is subjected to a phone menu.
Users can also visit the EAP website or visit Clark in person at the HQC, for a private discussion inside the complex’s first-floor Health Unit, which employees often visit for flu shots, minor aches and pains, blood-pressure monitoring, lactation and other health needs.
Through the EAP, employees and members of their households — including in-laws, fiancés and children away at college — can receive up to six counseling sessions per issue per year at no charge, Clark said. There is no insurance involved for this service.
The counseling can be for nearly any reason, she said. Counselors can offer, in addition to a listening ear followed by a proposed plan, voluntary screenings for addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling, as well as depression or anxiety. But the No. 1 topic is workplace interactions, Clark noted.
Confidentiality is taken so seriously that records are kept on a computer separate from the DLA system, she said, and they cannot be shared with anyone without the expressed written consent of the employee. No one else — not insurance companies, spouses, or even DLA Human Resources — has access to those files, she said.
Household members don’t have to tell the DLA employee they’re using the service, she noted; they can simply say who the DLA employee is and receive the service confidentially.
EAP counselors, who are all trained and state-licensed specialists, don’t offer clinical diagnoses or treatments but instead “focus on short-term problem-solving,” Clark explained. They can also refer employees to outside providers, including those near their homes.
In addition to counseling, the EAP offers licensed attorneys on call to discuss any number of legal situations. Legal counseling is unlimited, and some legal services are free of charge, she noted. EAP also offers specialists in financial advice and dealing with common needs such as finding child care.
The next EAP event at the McNamara HQC will be Feb. 21, on the “power of positive thinking.”