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Employee and Family Assistance Program can help with holiday stress

The holiday season is usually a time for getting together with family and friends. However, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic large gatherings are no longer possible and this may cause extra stress during this period.

All Queen’s employees and their families have access to the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), a confidential, professional counselling and wellness service that is there to provide support for those times when a little extra help is needed. The program provides access to masters' level counsellors, a full suite of lifestyle and specialty services, plus a variety of online services.

This support is accessible to family members, as defined by Queen's benefits programs, who are not able to return home for the holidays, such as children attending other post-secondary institutions.

The Queen’s EFAP is provided by Homewood Health which has been providing confidential EFAP services to Canadian employees and their family members for over 33 years.

“The EFAP is there for all Queen’s employees and their family members. It is not only a great resource for helpful information but for much-needed services as well,” says Sydney Downey, Associate Director, Return to Work & Accommodation Services, Human Resources. “The holidays can be a stressful time, and especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services and resources provided by Queen’s through Homewood Health, are readily accessible and there to help.”

As part of the EFAP, Homewood Health provides Life Lines, monthly newsletter highlighting the various services available as well as mental and physical health information and tips. This newsletter is emailed to all EFAP members. The December issues is Diversity and Inclusion: A beginners guide to the holidays. (Check your Clutter file if you cannot find the Life Lines newsletter in your Inbox).

Homewood Health also provides specialized newsletters for various occasions of higher stress throughout the year, such as the holidays. Two recent newsletters with holiday well-being information include: Celebrating Safely During the Holidays; and Staying Connected to Combat Loneliness and Isolation During the Holidays.

To learn more about the EFAP services and resources that are available, visit the Human Resources website.

For 24-hour EFAP services call: 1-800-663-1142 (English) or 1-866-398-9505 (Français).