Employee & Family Assistance Plan

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Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP) is a confidential service available to employees and their dependents, at no cost, to help manage work and personal life. Homewood Health offers a variety of services, including counselling, financial and legal consultation, childcare and eldercare locator tools, and much more.

To learn more about the services available to University of Calgary employees or to book a presentation about Homewood Health or WellBeing and WorkLife for your team, contact WellBeing and Worklife.

Homewood Health services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Why Use the Services?

Everyone can benefit from the services that Homewood Health has to offer. The EFAP is designed to help you tackle everyday life issues, help you achieve better life balance and prevent problems from becoming overwhelming. Services provided can support you through life stage transitions from marriage, birth of a child, parenting, family challenges, career changes, bereavement, or planning your retirement. They can also help you deal with depression, anxiety, fear, addictions, and provide immediate assistance in times of crisis.


EFAP Services

Counselling Services

Face-to-face counselling, telephonic support, video counselling, online e-counselling

Online Resources

E-learning courses, health risk assessment, interactive tools, and a library of medical information and health/workplace articles

 

Life Smart – Lifestyle and Specialty Counselling and Coaching

  • Life Balance Solutions: childcare and parenting/new parent support, elder and family care, financial consultation, legal advisory, relationship solutions
  • Health Smart Coaching: smoking cessation, weight loss and weight management, nutritional counselling
  • Career Smart Counselling: career planning/workplace issue counselling, pre-retirement planning, shift worker support

How to Access

All of the services offered by Homewood Health are strictly confidential. Homewood Health goes to extraordinary lengths to protect all personal information and to ensure privacy. Call Homewood Health toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to book appointments, or access immediate help:

Toll Free

English: 1.800.663.1142

French: 1.866.398.9505

TTY

1.888.384.1152  

International (call collect)

604.689.1717

Homewood Health Online

Go to homeweb.ca and create an individual login profile.

Chat function in Homeweb

After logging in, click on the "Need Help" icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, then select "Live Chat". Enter your name and email address into the fields and begin your confidential online session. Chat function is presently only available for initial intake only.


Current Employees

This service is available at no cost to all benefit-eligible employees and their immediate family members from the date of hire.

Former Employees

In certain circumstances described below, assistance is extended to former employees or their immediate families for a specific period of time:

 

  • 60 days following retirement
  • 30 days following termination
  • 60 days for family members of a deceased employee
  • 0 days following resignation

To learn more about the Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance Plan, a presentation can be requested.

When you contact Homewood Health, you will speak with a qualified intake Support Specialist who will:

  • Assess your situation. For safety reasons you will always be asked if you may cause potential harm to self or others whenever you call Homewood Health.
  • Ask you a few brief questions, including the name of your organization and your date of birth so they can verify they are talking to the right person and can confirm all the services available to you as part of your benefit coverage.
  • Assess your needs and preferences, and guide you to the assistance best suited to resolving your concerns.
  • Ask if it is okay for a counsellor to leave a message on your voicemail to follow up.  If you indicate that you would not prefer voicemail messages, you may need to follow up with Homewood Health to obtain your appointment time if you miss your counselor's phone call.

It is important to know, you do not need to know what service you want, you just need to provide information about what you are currently experiencing. All of the information shared by Homewood Health is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone.

Counselling Services are available face-to-face (flexible hours), by telephone, video, or online. Counselling services are confidential and professional. Assessments and guidance are offered that may help with many personal challenges including, but not limited to:

  • Stress management
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Marital and relationship issues
  • Family conflicts
  • Gambling
  • Violence/trauma
  • Emotional/individual issues
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Workplace issues

When you call Homewood Health's toll-free number, the intake consultant you speak with will confirm if your preference for telephonic, face-to-face, or online counselling.

Online, Chat, and Video Counselling

By accessing Homewood Health's online platform and creating a personal login, you can request counselling using their online request form, access services and counsellors via live chat, email or set up video counselling appointments. Just click on the "need help" button to see the list of options.

Scheduled Chat (text) counselling sessions are available during normal booking hours (8 a.m. until 9 p.m Monday to Friday. Weekends 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. MT). Asynchronous (similar to email) exchanges can be written by the client at any hour of the day, with the understanding that an initial response by a counsellor will occur within two business days, and the time frame for subsequent exchanges will be determined by the counselor and client.

Video Counselling is offered using a secure technology service to deliver encrypted virtual care through private video visits, secure messaging and other virtual care tools. Personal devices can be used (desktop, iOS, and android devices) to access virtual care.

Homeweb is an innovative online platform offering employees access to personalized health and wellness tools, resources, and support when they want it — anywhere, anytime.

You can access Homeweb on your phone, tablet, or desktop. Homeweb offers you the ability to create an individual profile, receive personalized content recommendations, and access lots of helpful resources.

Online services include:

  • E-learning courses – available through Homewood Health’s website, offer self-directed, confidential interactive online courses designed to help one take charge of one’s health and wellbeing
  • Busy Family – childcare and eldercare resource locators
  • Health and Wellness Library – access to a comprehensive library of medical information, health and wellness articles, videos and podcasts
  • Health Risk Assessment – tools to assess health risk and develop improvement plans

How to Access

Step One: Visit homeweb.ca and click ‘Sign Up’.

Step Two: Enter information into the required fields, choose an email and password, and click ‘Next Step’. Then, type in your company name and click ‘Find it!’ Select the correct company from the list provided. If do not see your company listed...check the spelling and try again.

Step Three: Let us know how you are covered by Homewood, (e.g. through your organization or the  organization of a family member), and let us know your relationship to the organization (e.g. employee, spouse, dependent, etc.). Submit the additional information required and click ‘Sign In’ at the bottom of the page.

The e-learning courses are designed to empower learners to better manage personal health and expand work-related skill sets. The courses are designed to be easy-to-use with quizzes, examples, and personalized action plans. Printable worksheets are available with step-by-step activities, as well as printable certificates of completion for each course. Courses are designed to be approximately 2 hours in length and can be saved and resumed at a schedule convenient to you.

E-Learning Courses for Employees

E-Learning Courses for Supervisors and Managers

Key Person Advice Line

The Key Person Advice Line gives you, the manager, supervisor, or union representative, the opportunity to contact a Homewood Health senior level clinician at any time for immediate just-in-time consultation should a situation arise in the workplace that could benefit from professional input.

Situations that typically benefit from consultation or coaching include, but are not restricted to:

  • workplace conflict
  • employee issues
  • unusual employee behavior
  • providing assistance to employees
  • support and strategies on how to have difficult conversations

Features

  • Assessment of the situation and need
  • Consultations provided by senior level clinicians with extensive experience in workplace issues.
  • Toll-free 1.800.663.1142 or international (call collect) 604.689.1717 and ask for the Key Person Advice Line
  • 24/7 access from anywhere in the world
  • Fully bilingual
  • Confidentiality is guaranteed

These services are not meant to replace the university's Human Resources department.

Homewood Health counsellors are experienced professionals who are registered psychologists, registered social workers, or Doctorate or Master’s level registered counsellors, chosen for their extensive experience dealing with a variety of psychological and health issues. 

Homewood Health makes every effort to match clients with counsellors based on client needs within a vast clinical network. If for some reason you are not comfortable with the counsellor assigned to you, call the toll free number 1.800.663.1142 and we will reassign a counsellor to you. Your comfort is our goal.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the EFAP. The program allows all EFAP clients to discuss any life-issue in complete confidence, whether speaking with a Masters’ level counsellor or another professional for one of the Life Smart specialty services (e.g. lawyer or registered dietician).

Homewood Health standards of confidentiality are the same as those used by medical doctors in Canada. You and your family may rest assured that all conversations and dealings with the EFAP will remain strictly confidential within the limits of the law*.

A number of things are done to ensure confidentiality and privacy:

  • appointments scheduled for privacy. No two persons from the University of Calgary will have back-to-back appointments with the same counsellor.
  • private offices, off-site
  • this program is voluntary, no referral is needed, and you can contact us directly
  • phone messages never left without prior permission
  • flexible scheduling
  • reports made to the University of Calgary contain only aggregate data on usage and trends utilizing non-identifying information
  • secure record-keeping.

Homewood Health is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an objective and recognized body for EFAP provider accreditation, which also ensures organizations meet the standards of confidentiality.

*Homewood Health is required by law to disclose what would otherwise be confidential information when there is a risk of serious injury to oneself or others, there is suspicion of child abuse as defined by provincial legislation, or when served with a properly executed court order (i.e. subpoena).


In addition to counselling services, Homewood Health offers a variety of WellBeing service options including their smoking cessation, weight loss and nutritional counselling services. Health Smart services are free to use for employees and their benefit-eligible dependents and are developed by Masters and PhD level clinicians.  

The Health Risk Assessment (HRA) offers an assessment on your health history and lifestyle habits.  It also offers readiness to change measures that help you identify your health and wellness barriers.

The HRA looks at four specific dimensions of emotional health: work-life balance, anxiety, depression, and stress.

Key Features

  • Can be completed in under ten minutes
  • Provides you with a personal confidential report on your health history and lifestyle habits. This is a very concise explanation of each health and wellness area and what action needs to be taken if moderate or high risks are flagged.

The HRA can also be used as a tool with your primary care physician or family doctor to promote overall health and wellbeing.

The Health and Wellness Library is an updated collection of articles and other resources written by qualified subject matter experts.  It includes information designed to improve health and wellness, and assists you in improving your personal and work-life balance.

The library provides you with a wealth of exclusively Canadian content managed by the Canadian Medical Association and has information on drugs, disease, natural products, tests, procedures, and general health.

Nutritional Counselling

Provides telephonic counselling to assist employees to learn healthy eating habits to improve weight, energy, and resistance to disease. One-on-one nutritional advice is provided by Registered Dietitians who can provide:

  • a thorough assessment
  • step-by-step action planning
  • “how to” advice and coaching

Jump Start Your Wellness

A health and wellness program to develop new habits that improve wellbeing, which includes telephonic coaching with a weight loss and behaviour change consultant.  As part of the Jump Start Your Wellness, participants receive:

  • The Jump Start Your Wellness workbook
  • A CD that compliments the workbook to enhance week to week changes
  • Stress Map (stress management tool)
  • Optional nutritional counselling

Smoking Cessation

Improving the health of employees by addressing all facets of smoking, including:

  • Physical dependence
  • Psychological dependence
  • Foundations of successful behaviour change

Specialists provide:

  • Coaching incorporating the latest proven behaviour change techniques
  • Ongoing support for clients to quit their smoking addiction

The Impact of Sleep on your Health/L'influnce sommeil sur la santé

Quality sleep – the kind that makes you look refreshed and feeling energized – is exactly what the doctor ordered. In fact, sleep is as important to your health as diet, nutrition and exercise. Regardless of one’s age, the right amount and quality of sleep improves attention, behaviour, memory, and overall mental and physical health

Reducing Mental Health Stigma

Regardless of age, culture or income, at least one in five Canadians will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime.  According to the World Health Organization, health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Yet so many people define good health as being physically well. Our mental health is equally important and often does not receive the attention it should.  This feature explores what mental health disorders are, common myths and stigmas, and ways to reduce stigma.  

The Dangers of Social Media on Your Mental Health

It’s no longer just a cliché: we really are all connected, 24/7, no matter where in the world, we are a mere click away from our families, co-workers, classmates, idols, mentors, neighbours, and even strangers.

While social media has given rise to elaborate virtual communities, brought awareness to important social movements and supported fundraising for many worthwhile causes, it has also served as a platform and source for less beneficial and sometimes troubling occurrences at both individual and societal levels.

Self-Care Starter Kit

Looking after yourself is an important part of living a happy and healthy life. Self-care refers to the activities and practices that we deliberately choose to engage in on a regular basis to maintain and enhance our health and wellbeing.

In this Self-Care Starter Kit, we describe why self-care matters, why it’s important to take time to look after yourself, and how you can build a self-care plan to improve your quality of life.

Mental Health Awareness Kit

In the attached Mental Health Kit, we explore a variety of topics to get you thinking about your mental fitness and help you understand some of the characteristics that make up good mental health.

Your day does not start when you get to work, nor does it end when you leave. To help you manage, Homewood Health developed Life Smart Coaching and Career Smart Coaching services in addition to family supports to help you once your day is done. These work-life solutions can be used by any family members on your benefits plan.

Life Smart (formerly Plan Smart) services are delivered over the telephone and often include a personalized package of information and useful tools, such as tips sheets, articles and software programs that have been selected with the client’s specific interests in mind. You can receive and utilize a combination of support services, including:

  • A full telephonic assessment of needs by a specialist
  • Advice, counselling and coaching from an expert in the field
  • Follow-up from a specialist
  • Customized searches to locate relevant resources just for you
  • Up-to-date and personalized information such as:
    • topical books
    • Homewood Health’s thoroughly researched handbooks
    • helpful DVDs or software tools
    • current articles from trustworthy Internet sources
    • referrals to a particular online resource.

Life Smart — Lifestyle and Specialty Counselling Services include the following services:

New Parent Support

Provides individuals who have recently become, or are about to become, a new parent with a support process designed to empower them with knowledge and skills.

  • Package of information tailored to meet the specific needs of the parent
  • Online services
    • Access to research on personal and family care providers in Canada
    • Articles
    • Advice
    • Links helpful for the new parent

Childcare and Parenting

Provides support for parents who may be struggling with any number of parenting or family issues.

  • Specialists complete a full needs assessment to address concerns
  • May receive a personalized package of information
  • Online services
    • Access to research on personal and family care providers in Canada
    • Parenting articles
    • Parenting advice
    • Links helpful for the parent
    • Quality of care checklists

Eldercare and Family Care

Providing support for employees caring for aging parents or loved ones.

  • Specialists ensure an employee's unique family needs are taken into consideration when determining appropriate resources and solutions for their specific concern
  • Online services
    • Access to elder and family care providers in Canada
    • Quality of care checklists

Financial Consultation

Helping employees enjoy financial peace of mind.

  • One-on-one consultation with an expert over the phone
  • Financial coaches can help with a broad range of issues including:
    • financial goal setting and planning
    • creating a spending plan and strategies to stick with it
    • exploring debt resolution options
    • establishing or rebuilding credit
    • managing financial aspects of life transitions such as illness/disability, job loss and workforce transitions, separation and divorce, and retirement planning

Relationship Solutions

Providing support for employees who need to revitalize the connection in their relationship.

  • Includes: a self-help resources kit and up to three hours of consultation/coaching
  • Ideal for clients presenting with issues such as but not limited to:
    • spark is fading
    • conflicting priorities
    • conflict resolution
    • pre-martial/cohabitation preparation
    • desire for further growth as a couple

Legal Advisory

Providing sound advice and peace of mind on legal matters.

  • One-on-one advice/consultation with an expert over the phone
  • Referral can be made to an attorney, and client may qualify for a preferential savings of up to 25%
  • Consultation on a broad range of criminal and civil issues including:
    • adoption/guardianship
    • auto-related matters
    • bankruptcy
    • child custody
    • consumer complaints
    • divorce/Separation
    • landlord/tenant disputes
    • family law
    • repossessions
    • small claims court
    • traffic violations
    • wills and trusts

The Busy Family Childcare Resource Locator and Eldercare Resource Locator enables employees to conduct their own customized searches by keying in their specific requirements.

Child Care Resource Locator Tool

The Childcare Locator can search for daycares, homecare, respite care, child services and child care, schools, day camps, overnight camps, and residential facilities for children with special needs.

Eldercare Resource Locator Tool

The Eldercare Locator enables employees and family members to have access to national resources for older Canadians. This includes homecare assessments, long-term facilities, assistive care facilities, daycare facilities, and facilities geared towards the elderly with health needs or cultural preferences.

Career Counselling

Assisting employees in identifying and articulating skills, aptitudes, values, personality traits, and interests related to their career. Depending on the individual need, you can receive coaching on any of the following:

  • Problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Change and transition management
  • Time management
  • Stress management and work-life balance
  • Building cooperation with co-workers

Pre-Retirement Planning

Advance planning can help ensure a worry free retirement. A specialist will complete a comprehensive assessment of your psychological, emotional, and financial needs as you approach retirement.

Shift Worker Support

Helping make shift work easier and shift workers healthier.

  • If an employee is experiencing difficulties related to working shifts, our specialists may start by doing a full assessment.
  • They may refer the employee to one of our online resources, or if necessary, to an outside expert

The EFAP offers short-term, solution-focused counselling. Within the context of a solution-focused model, you receive the right number of sessions to reach resolution. If longer term counselling, hospital treatment or specialized services (such as medical, legal or financial help) are required, your counsellor will discuss referral options with you to get you connected with the most appropriate support.

It is important to remember that each presenting issue is assessed independently of each other. For example, if you have completed your sessions for anxiety, and now you would like counselling for a relationship issue, you can access the program again and the assessment process will be applied again, independent of what was done for your earlier presenting issue. Access to the program for any number of issues is unlimited.

If you feel your issue has still not been resolved please call Homewood Health at 1.800.663.1142 to book an appointment and have it assessed by a counsellor.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the EFAP. The program allows all EFAP users to discuss any life issue in complete confidence, whether speaking with a Masters’ level counsellor or another professional for one of the Plan Smart specialty services (e.g. Lawyer or Registered Dietician).

Homewood Health's standards of confidentiality are the same as those used by medical doctors in Canada. You and your family may rest assured that all conversations and dealings with the EFAP will remain strictly confidential within the limits of the law*.

A number of things are done to ensure confidentiality and privacy:

  • appointments scheduled for privacy. No two persons from the University of Calgary will have back-to-back appointments with the same counsellor
  • private offices, off-site
  • this program is voluntary, no referral is needed. You can contact us directly
  • phone messages never left without prior permission
  • flexible scheduling
  • reports made to the University of Calgary contain only aggregate data on usage and trends utilizing non-identifying information
  • secure record-keeping

Homewood Health is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an objective and recognized body for EFAP provider accreditation, which also ensures organizations meet the standards of confidentiality.

*Homewood Health is required by law to disclose what would otherwise be confidential information when there is a risk of serious injury to oneself or others, there is suspicion of child abuse as defined by provincial legislation, or when served with a properly executed court order (i.e. subpoena).

For routine (non-urgent) cases, you can expect to see a counsellor for an in-person appointment within three business days, and depending on location, an employee can have an appointment as soon as 24 hours from the time of the intake call. The wait time may vary if you have a specific preference for appointment time such as evening or weekend appointments. Immediate urgent support is always available by telephone 24 hours a day/7 days per week by calling our toll free number at 1.800.663.1142.

If you have not heard back from a Homewood counsellor to confirm an appointment time within 48-72 hours, please call the service again at 1.800.663.1142.  Due to the confidential nature of the service, a message cannot be left when permission to do so was not granted.  In such cases, you may not be aware of efforts made to reach you. When they do have permission to leave a message, there are times when it may not have reached you successfully.  

If the first Homewood Health counsellor you see is not the right fit for you, call back into Homewood Health directly and they will look for another counsellor that best matches the nature of the issue and your preference for time and location.

Call our toll free number 1.800.663.1142 and press 1 for immediate support over the phone.