Weems assistance program offers benefits
Special to The Star
Weems Community Mental Health Center's Employee Assistance Program offers businesses in a nine-county region services that typically are not provided under standard private insurance plans. Currently 24 companies are enlisted under Weems EAP, reaching over 4,500 employees.
Weems serves Region 10 of the state's mental health system. Headquartered in Lauderdale County, Weems also serves Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Smith Counties.
In fiscal year 2000, Weems had a total of 208,937 client contacts.
The Weems EAP program focuses on prevention and early intervention. Employees are encouraged to address personal problems that can affect their health and work performance, including stress, anxiety, marital and family difficulty and substance abuse.
Both employees and employers can benefit, according to a Weems spokesman, especially through early intervention, which can offset the possibility of more costly treatment.
Supervisors and managers are trained to identify potential problems and utilize the EAP as a referral source. The EAP also has a state-certified DUI program, child/adolescent services, and emergency services. On-site educational programs are offered, as well.
Weems provides EAP services to companies that employ 10 and to those that have 1500 employees. The most typical arrangement is a full service EAP, in which the employer pays the full cost of the EAP so that the employees and their dependents do not incur any out-of-pocket expenses.
Weems has future plans to enlarge its EAP so that it will be able to provide direct and indirect services to businesses outside of Region 10 and also to businesses that have parent companies in various parts of the country. This network will be made possible, in part, through subcontracting mental health agencies that are, too, located across the country.
Weems has enlisted four new EAP clients over the past six months: Metro Ambulance Service, Hometown Hospice Inc., Perfect Promotions and The Service Company.
For more information about Weems Employee Assistance Program, contact Karen Combs, EAP Coordinator, at 483-4821.