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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Employee Assistance program to lend helping hand;

By Emblem Staff | | September 12, 2002

The Civilian Employee Assistance Program used to be part of Personal Services formerly known as Family Service, Center, but recently came under the direction of the Civilian Human Resources Office.

The program has been at MCLB since the early '80s. Its purpose is to help civilian employees who experience problems in the work place that interfere with effective job performance. Brenda Crawford, CEAP Coordinator, provides counseling, referrals and other services to individuals who seek guidance from the program.

Both employees and supervisors can schedule appointments for counseling, consultation or a variety of training classes. Crawford is a Georgia, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP). This insures a level of professional expertise appropriate to assess and devise the right response to most problems, presented in the workplace.

"Whether it's an individual with a problem, or a supervisor with a workplace concern, the goal is to determine an appropriate response through short term counseling; referral to another on or off base resource; design of an awareness or prevention education program; or a manager/supervisor consultation. My job is to assess the problem and offer solutions to turn things around.

"Any problem that interferes with an employee being able to effectively do his or her job is what I deal with," said Crawford. "If they are not able to get to work, focus and do their work, I provide or arrange for some type of intervention to help support the individual or organization to resolve the issue." The program provides short-term counseling a maximum of six sessions for individuals, on official time. The type of counseling depends on what kind of problem the individual has.

Most problems deal with adjustment issues or temporary difficulties. In some cases the problem is more complicated or requires long-term counseling. This is when a referral to a long-term provider in the community is appropriate. Counseling sessions are confidential except when someone is in imminent risk of harm.

Turning things around and overcoming the difficulty is the primary focus of CEAP counseling. "When things go the way they should, the individual comes to realize what the problem is, and their power over it and they take steps to create a new scenario. When this happens, they usually see improvements within themselves that affect work and home." said Crawford. "If the solutions lie in others taking steps, then we work to facilitate that change too."

A variety of classes are available through the CEAP. Performance Management, Managing Change, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, and other classes are designed to facilitate effective teamwork, improve communication and promote understanding among employees.

For individuals not needing counseling or prevention education, CEAP has a library of current books, video and cassette tapes on various subjects such as self-esteem, relationships, substance abuse, eldercare, surviving grief, and more that any employees can check out.

"Reminding employees and supervisors that the CEAP is here to support and assist them is an ongoing part of my job", said Crawford.

Lending timely, appropriate assistance to our organizations, managers, supervisors, and individual employees in these times of constant change is still the mission of the Civilian Employee Assistance Program"

Individuals who experience problems that keep them from performing their jobs and who want to talk to someone can call Crawford at 639-5429 to schedule an appointment.