In light of some of the discussions that occurred at the APA Town Halls in February, we wanted to let you know that APA does a lot of behind the scenes work in many area of campus and thought it would be helpful to know how APA has a voice on the EAP Advisory Board. Leo Sell, MSU APA Executive Board member shares his thoughts below.
According to Sell, “many of you are probably aware that MSU offers a no-cost, short-term, confidential counseling service with our in-house Employee Assistance Program (EAP) www.eap.msu.edu. The therapists are all part of the APA and are very dedicated to providing health-based services to their clientele.”
“While the program is fairly well known, what’s not wildly known is that the service has provided general guidance and advice from an advisory board of longstanding. While the EAP Advisory Committee does not provide actual oversight, it does provide critical feedback about the needs of the campus community, guidance on current and future services, and general discussion. So events like those in our recent MSU history that are causing a great deal of individual and institutional stress are an active item of discussion so far as the mental health support needs that arise.”
The APA has had a seat at this table as a member of the committee for more than 25 years. Leo Sell, current APA Executive Board member states he “commenced representing our members long ago when I was chair and president of the APA, and for a number of years I served very actively as chairperson for the EAP Advisory Committee. My motivation in serving on the committee was both personal, as there were needs within my family that had made me very aware of the importance of services like this, and professionally as I recognized the need to make sure we had an association voice in the critical roles of providing services and properly protecting confidentiality.”
The APA is one of many constituencies that are expressly represented on the committee. Each union, faculty, other key committees (such as the Women’s Advisory Committee for Support Staff (WACSS), Work Life office, and many more all have a voice.
Lastly, Sell reports “I highly encourage any member who is in need of the EAP services to freely and confidently do so.”