Workplace Wellbeing

EAPs: How Innovative Solutions Stack Up Against Traditional Ones

Is your current Employee Assistance Program (EAP) making an impact and meeting your employees’ needs? Is anyone even using the services offered? Here are the differences between traditional and innovative EAPs, and the support and services you may be missing.

Written by
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Mandie Conforti, LCSW
Senior Director of Employer and EAP Strategy
Clinically reviewed by
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Woman on her laptop and phone using the Spring Health app

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    Is your current Employee Assistance Program (EAP) making an impact and meeting your employees’ needs? Is anyone even using the services offered? 

    As we continue seeing an increase in mental health conditions across the globe, your employees need support that can meet their unique needs more than ever. 

    If you’re hearing complaints about the difficulty of finding timely, reliable care and specialized support, and seeing little engagement from employees and their dependents, it may be time to take another look at the new, innovative EAP solutions that are offered by Spring Health.

    Let’s examine the difference between traditional and innovative EAPs, and the support and services you may be missing. 

    What is an EAP?

    An EAP is a pre-paid employer-sponsored benefit program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees (and dependents) who have personal and/or work-related problems.

    EAPs are work-based programs designed to assist employees in resolving personal and professional problems that may be affecting work performance. An average of six therapy sessions are typically offered at no cost to the employee or their dependents. 

    How traditional EAPs started

    EAPs began as internal peer support outreach programs in the late 1930s, when drinking on the job was the norm and its effects on performance and productivity became noticeable. 

    They evolved into broad brush programs that offer clinical and work/life services, digital support, and global capabilities. EAPs are now the default solution for companies of any size to provide assistance to their employee population, including mental health support.

    How Spring Health is redesigning EAPs 

    We likely don’t have to tell you that EAPs have gained a negative connotation over the years. Basic reporting, minimal utilization, and no proactivity has made companies re-evaluate their offering. This is one of the many reasons Spring Health’s core EAP offering revolutionized mental health services. 

    Through time, we’ve introduced services and crafted partnerships to expand our offering and make us a leading-edge EAP solution—that is now often replacing a company’s existing EAP.

    Our EAP can be seen as the combination of:

    1. Spring Health’s core offering: Clinically Valid Assessment, Care Navigation, Coaching, Therapy, Digital CBT, Referrals, 24/7 crisis support, Global Offering, Family focused solution
    2. Additional services, delivered by Spring Health or by partners, Trainings, HR Supporting Materials, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), Fitness for Duty Evaluations, DOT/Drug Free Workplace cases
    3. Work/Life services: Elder/adult care, Pet care, Travel resources, Divorce/Custody, Criminal, Basic estate planning/wills/trusts, Adoption, Probate, Bankruptcy, Budgeting , Identity theft protection.

    Traditional vs Innovative EAPs

    There are a number of stark differences between the programs offered in traditional and innovative EAPs. 

    The marks of a traditional EAP

    Traditional models tend to be reactive, have low utilization, and can’t change quickly in an industry that requires continual change. 

    They are primarily phone-based, and take a one-size-fits-all approach to provide support for inbound callers, along with minimal digital tools and support. 

    Most have a weak digital front door and a less comprehensive screen to determine the kind of care that’s needed. Clinical data is stored in one system for reporting and tracking, and reporting is limited to demographic information. 

    The biggest barrier is that, although traditional EAPs usually include large, broad-based provider networks, many of those providers are not accepting patients, so the wait times for an initial appointment could take weeks or even months. 

    The difference in an innovative EAP

    An innovative solution like Spring Health is both proactive and reactive. We see high engagement due to our creative ways to reach your employees and the ease in providing access to services. 

    Employees and dependents start by completing a clinically valid assessment that screens for over 10 conditions, and leverages the power of data and machine learning technology. Upon completion, each employee receives a personalized care plan, designed to educate and empower them with an understanding of how they’re feeling and how Spring Health can support them.  

    Throughout the employee's journey, they will be prompted to reassess how they are doing. These results are compared to the initial assessment so we can track symptoms and monitor the employee's progression.

    Dedicated Care Navigators

    Our care navigation is offered by licensed, masters level clinicians to help guide an enrolled employee along their journey. Enrolled employees have unlimited access to their dedicated Care Navigator, offering both inbound and outbound support to help with any of their concerns.

    In addition, we have a dedicated team of Care Navigators to help HR and managers with workplace and organizational support. These services include formal and informal referrals along with training, workshops, and manager consultation and support

    A diverse network providing evidence-based care

    All providers use evidence-based tools and medicine along with tracking outcomes so we know how employees are doing throughout treatment with us. Most importantly, our curated provider network is diverse, so your employees can find a provider that has a similar background and life experience.

    An integrated approach with fast access

    Our average wait time for a first therapy appointment is less than two days, and less than a day and a half for a next medication appointment. All of our providers integrate their calendars with us so we can track appointment availability. 

    Our Care Navigators and providers share the same electronic health record so there is an integrated approach to an employee's care.

    Tracking your ROI

    We offer robust reporting, tracking return on investment and clinical outcomes to help craft the story of your workforce. We track 12 different provider metrics and offer value-based contracting to our provider network. 

    These metrics are used as a guide to help train our providers. We have the ability to show clinical outcomes and productivity improvements, and are willing to place fees and risk to show the impact of our program on your workforce. 

    Giving your employees the support they need

    Here are just a few ways that Spring Health’s offerings address the unique needs of your employees and their families. 

    Wellness for the whole family

    When one member of the family struggles, the entire family feels it. This is one of the many reasons Spring Health offers comprehensive mental health support for employees and their family members, ages six and up, with the ability to schedule an appointment with a therapist within two days. 


    Spring Health is now offering coaching for employees and dependents 18 and over, to improve their self-confidence, relationships, work/life balance, and communication skills. 

    Our coaches can help employees develop and implement strategies to achieve their short-term goals, while also creating healthier, more sustainable, and less costly behaviors. 

    Greater emotional wellbeing with Moments

    The Spring Health Digital Mental Health Platform also includes Moments, a library of clinically-validated, digital exercises to help your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. These exercises cover over 120 topics, including anxiety, sleep, burnout, parenting, and mindfulness. Employees select how they’re feeling and the best exercises will be recommended for them. 

    These on-demand tools are based in cognitive behavioral therapy, and can provide immediate relief while helping to create healthy habits—just by taking a few moments out of your day. 

    Discover the Spring Health difference

    It’s time to consider innovative solutions that offer the evidence-based care your employees need, and the data you need to measure clinical outcomes—ultimately, to ensure your employees and their family members are getting better. 

    Learn more about how to enhance or replace your EAP with the most holistic approach to employee wellbeing.

    About the Author
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    Mandie Conforti, LCSW
    Senior Director of Employer and EAP Strategy

    Mandie currently serves as Senior Director of Employer and EAP Strategy at Spring Health. She has clinical experience in EAP and substance use treatment, and has previously worked as a Behavioral Health Consultant at Willis Towers Watson and Mercer. Mandie spent the last 20+ years working with Fortune 500 companies to promote emotional wellbeing in the workplace. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. Bonaventure University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois. In addition to being certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Mandie is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and is working on her RYT 500.

    About the clinical reviewer
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