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Employee Assistance Programme

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a free, confidential counselling service available to University of Otago staff.

The purpose of the programme is to provide short term, brief intervention counselling. The counselling support can be used when personal problems may be disrupting your home and/or work life.

Find out more detailed information from the EAP provider (Benestar)

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Who is the programme available to?

The programme is available to:

  • All permanent and fixed term full time staff
  • All part time with 0.5 FTE or greater, and with an employment contract(s) totalling 12 months or more

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How many sessions are available

University of Otago will pay for up to three (3) one-hour sessions with a Benestar-approved counsellor. If further sessions are required, please discuss this directly with your counsellor. We recognise that some staff may need additional support during the Support Services Review. Where the EAP provider identifies organisational change, organisational restructure or job security as the primary reason for counselling and that further support is needed, staff may access up to three additional sessions of counselling. This applies until 31 August 2018.

How to access the programme

There are three ways of access the programme:

Direct access to one of the Benestar counsellors: A telephone call can be made directly to a counsellor and a time arranged to meet. If you get an answer service, please state that you work for the University of Otago, leave your phone number and best time to be contacted.

University EAP Coordinator: Cath Logan (Occupational Health Nurse) is the EAP Coordinator and can be contacted on or +64 3 479 5034.

Access via Benestar: Benestar has been contracted to provide EAP services to the University. Benestar contracts with professional counsellors nationwide. You can call Benestar on 0800 360 364. If your need is urgent, please call Benestar who will help find a counsellor who can see you within 24 hours.

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There are two types of referrals:

  • Informal referral: Initiated by a staff member when they recognise a problem themselves, or following a suggestion from a colleague, family member or friends.
  • Workplace referral: Recommended by a Supervisor or Head of Department when impaired work performance continues after normal supervision practices have been followed. The offer may be declined by the employee as the programme is voluntary. All workplace referrals must be coordinated through Human Resources.

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Employee Assistance Programme video

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