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New study indicates First Chat is a welcome choice for receiving EAP support

Morneau Shepell recently conducted a research study to determine the impact of First Chat—a professional counselling service available online, in real-time. Employees using First Chat correspond by text with a highly qualified counsellor for private and immediate clinical Employee Assistance Program (EAP) support. Data was mined from a sample of 407 chats, conducted between December 5, 2011, and January 31, 2012. The findings revealed that:

  • 65% of First Chat users were new employees who had never accessed EAP services before.
  • A higher percentage of employees requested clinical consultation through First Chat than they did by the telephone.
  • Neither gender nor age were obstacles to accessing First Chat, though trending indicated that a younger adult demographic was drawn to First Chat over other ways to access EAP services.
  • 94% of employees surveyed felt comfortable using First Chat as a clinical counselling service.
  • 84% said they were provided with relevant info that assisted in addressing their problems.
  • 87% would recommend First Chat to others.

First Chat is an appealing option for those who would not normally seek professional mental health support due to issues regarding stigma, privacy and confidentiality, lack of mobility or transportation, verbal communication, and social phobias. The service is in line with the firm’s objective of making EAP support as accessible as possible through technology, and satisfies clients’ growing demand for new forms of EAP support.

For further information, please contact your Morneau Shepell consultant.