Employee and Family Assistance Program

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Faculty and staff can access crisis support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Employee and Family Assistance Program:

  • 780-428-7587
  • 1-800-663-1142 (Toll-free English)
  • 1-866-398-9505 (Numéro gratuit en français)
  • 1-888-384-1152 (Teletype TTY)

In case of an emergency, call 911.

University of Alberta students call counseling and clinical services at 780-492-5205 (during business hours) or 211 (24/7). Graduate students can access the Graduate Student Assistance Program (GSAP)

What is the employee and family assistance program?

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) connects staff, faculty and their eligible dependents to registered psychologists or master-level registered counselors. Counselors are selected for their breadth of experience and their focus on cognitive behavioural therapy.


Receive confidential counseling for individuals and families

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Get professional legal, financial, career, nutrition and fitness advice


Whatever you or your eligible dependents are going through, counselors are available to offer the professional support needed.


Learn to manage anxiety, stress, depression, addiction, mental health, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress and trauma.


Learn to handle conflict with others, partners and family difficulties and grief or loss.


Learn to communicate with difficult colleagues, find work/life balance and manage other workplace challenges.


Employees can access enhanced counseling support using Homewood Pathfinder—an interactive and intuitive dashboard.

  • Use the simple PulseCheck slider to track feelings over time and tailored recommendations.
  • Get personalized service offerings based on your unique needs and preferences.
  • Use clinically validated screeners for depression, anxiety and trauma and other presenting issues.
  • Book and change counseling appointments easily through your dashboard

How to access Homewood Pathfinder

  1. Get your invitation code by checking your University of Alberta email or calling the Homewood customer service center at 780-428-7587
  2. Visit homeweb.ca
  3. Create an account and you will be prompted to enter the invitation code.
  4. If you already have an account, log out and then log back in to input the invitation code.
  5. Fill in your profile, complete a quick PulseCheck and add some details about your concerns to start receiving personalized support recommendations.


What is the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)?

From time to time, we all have to deal with difficult or stressful events in our lives. The EFAP is a service designed to support individuals in dealing with personal, family or work related issues. The service most commonly accessed through the EFAP is individual or family psychological counseling. Areas commonly addressed through the EFAP include personal and relationship issues, physical health concerns, conflict resolution, divorce, custody issues, stress, communication and addictions, to name only a few.


What services are covered through the EFAP?

In addition to individual and family psychological counseling, the EFAP provides a variety of services, including:

  • specialized individual or group programs (parenting, communication and relationship issues, cultural transition, addictions, retirement preparation, etc.)
  • crisis response
  • workshops, seminars, lunch ‘n’ learn series
  • online courses
  • nutritional, financial, legal counseling
  • educational health resources
  • elder care and child care resources
  • retirement adjustment
  • life event services
  • work life services (especially child care, elder care and role overload related issues)
  • legal and financial consultation
  • specialized programs (Indigenous, cultural- and gender- specific programs, addictions hotline, workplace advice line)
  • web based services (online resources, self-assessment tools, counseling, e-scheduling, health information services

Individual assessment and counseling, family or couple counseling and psychological assessment in a wide range of areas.

  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Anger management
  • Stress management
  • Career and job stress
  • Anxiety and depression support
  • Self-esteem enhancement
  • Personal and relationship issues
  • Physical health concerns
  • Retirement adjustment
  • Separation/divorce/custody
  • Conflict resolution
  • Family violence
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Communication
  • Coping with grief and loss
  • Addictions
  • Career or vocational counseling
  • Eldercare consultation
  • Cultural transition support
  • Childcare consultation

Organizational support services are also available to help address issues such as:

  • Work performance
  • Constructive conflict
  • Supervisory coaching and counseling
  • Team building
  • Critical incident response
  • Effective communication


Who has access to the EFAP?

All University of Alberta staff members and their eligible dependents have access to the EFAP. This includes all staff members who are not covered by the university's Supplementary Health Care Plan (e.g. casual and temporary staff members). The EFAP provides crisis response to the university's faculties, departments and work units for faculty, staff and students. However, students wishing to access individual counseling services should contact Counseling and Clinical Services at 780-492-5205.


Do Graduate Students have access to EFAP?
No. However, the university also administers the Graduate Student Assistance Program (GSAP). This program is specifically for graduate students and has some similar components to the EFAP program.
Is the service confidential?

Yes, the EFAP service is completely confidential. The business relationship is between the university and Homewood Health, not the individual psychologists and other professionals who will be providing you with services. Homewood Health reports aggregate data on utilization and trends to the university quarterly, but absolutely no information on these reports is specific to an individual(s). As with any health-care provider, the only exception is in cases where the individual accessing services has provided written consent to their psychologist to have specific information shared in order to address benefit entitlement questions or other similar issues.


How do I pay for services?

For faculty, staff members and eligible dependents, there is no charge for visits to the EFAP psychologists or access to the other EFAP services.

However, should a faculty or staff member choose to access psychological counseling outside of the EFAP program, the staff members will be required to pay the psychologist's fees unless a pre-approved subcontractor arrangement is arranged through the university's EFAP provider.


Is there a provision to reimburse for services obtained outside of the University's EFAP provider?

There is no provision for reimbursement for psychological counseling services obtained outside of the EFAP network. For those with access to a Health Spending Account, psychological services are deemed an eligible expense under the plan provisions.


What do I do if my family physician makes a referral to a psychologist other than the university's EFAP provider?

Physicians often make referrals for patients. Physicians may make this referral based on those psychologists that they are aware of who treat individuals for issues like depression, etc. If there is a counselor at Homewood Health who has this specific area of expertise, they will recommend that you go to the university's EFAP provider in order to have the cost of your sessions covered.


What do I do if I have a pre-existing relationship with a psychologist outside of Homewood Health?

Due to the sensitive nature of the counseling relationship between staff member and psychologist, minimizing the disruption, whenever possible, is of utmost importance. We realize that this may occur when a new staff member starts work at the University of Alberta. Faculty and staff members may make a subcontractor request to the university's EFAP provider by contacting them directly at 780-428-7587. If approved, the subcontractor request will be in effect for a set number of sessions. The request is intended to address the immediate presenting concern therefore should future visits be required for an alternate concern the arrangement will no longer be in effect. The benefit of this arrangement is that the faculty/staff member may not need to interrupt the counseling relationship in the short term however it is expected that the staff member will transition to the EFAP to address future concerns.


What if one of my students/graduate students needs assistance?

University of Alberta undergraduate students and graduate students have access to psychological counseling services through Counseling and Clinical Services. You can reach them directly at 780-492-5205. The office is located on the second floor of SUB. Please check their website for business hours.

Graduate Students at the university can also access psychological counseling services through the Graduate Student Assistance Program (GSAP). Graduate students needing assistance can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The program is covered as part of the graduate student fees therefore there is no additional cost to access the service. There is no cap on the number of sessions that can be accessed through the program, the number of sessions necessary to address a concern is decided jointly between client and the clinician. Services are completely confidential. The program can be reached by calling 780-428-7587.


How do I provide feedback about the EFAP?

Both positive and negative feedback about the program is always appreciated to continually enhance our programs and service.

You can provide feedback in the following ways:

Cyber security breach update

January 31, 20222

Homewood Health is an external service provider contracted by the university to provide support services for employees, family members and graduate students, through our EFAP and GSAP programs. Homewood Health was recently impacted by a cyber security breach and with the assistance of external cyber security and privacy experts, took immediate steps to contain the incident and to ensure that its systems were and are secure. There has been no evidence of any disclosure or misuse of impacted information; based on efforts undertaken by Homewood Health and its third-party cyber security experts, it is believed such risk is low.

As a precautionary measure, individuals who accessed EFAP or GSAP services between 2018 and 2020 are encouraged to contact Homewood Health to confirm if their information has been affected and to learn more about available identity and credit monitoring protection. (Call 1-833-787-2862 or complete their online form.)

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