Original article https://ebn.benefitnews.com

Employees seek advice from EAP/work-life resource hot lines for myriad reasons ranging from professional and financial concerns to help with mental health issues and substance abuse problems. To give employers a better understanding of the issues their employees face and who is likeliest to make use of employee assistance program benefits, ComPsych Corporation, which fields millions of calls annually, recently analyzed gender, age and industry differences in millions of EAP/work-life calls over a 12-month period.

EAP calls analyzed by industry

Employees’ reasons for calling differed by industry, with EAP call volume suggesting construction industry workers are more prone to alcohol and chemical dependency issues, and work-life call volume suggesting that lower-income employees and hourly wage earners are more likely to need information related to government services.

EAP calls by gender

Though women callers still outnumber men (61% versus 39%), the percentage of men accessing EAP and work-life services has gradually but steadily risen from 35% 10 years ago. Though fewer men call assistance lines, more men called for help with relationship issues (22%) than women (18%). Further, men were almost five times as likely to call about alcohol and chemical dependency issues.

EAP calls by age

Younger individuals placed the highest percentage of calls for psychological reasons, and 20-somethings led the way in alcohol and chemical dependency calls. Not surprisingly, employees in 30s and 40s had the highest percentage of relationship calls. Yet, occupational-related calls — manager referrals for poor performance, absenteeism or interpersonal problems — increased in frequency according to age, with employees in their 50s and 60s placing the most calls.

Overall work-life calls

Requests for moving information and resources was the top reason for work-life calls for the second year in a row, perhaps reflecting changes in the economy and housing market that raise challenges for financially stressed individuals. After moving information, work-life callers most often sought help with child care, elder care or government services.