Employees have access to valuable services for issues ranging from stress to alcohol and drug abuse through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) located on campus.
Coordinated by Dr. Debra Rozanski, the program strives to provide individual and group assistance to faculty and staff in need.
Rozanski said Human Resources brought her on board to deal with these issues. From there, Rozanski created EAP from scratch.
‘It really has been a wonderful experience,’ said Rozanski. ‘A lot of it involves finding out from employees what it is they want, what they need.’
Offered specifically for employees, EAP started in early 2008 and is backed by the Employee Relations Department. Prior to its inception, employees were only able to receive help from the counseling services.
‘Until very recently we haven’t had a real formal Employee Assistance Program to offer to employees,’ Rozanski said. ‘The counseling center is just for students and there were some technical issues that they had to deal with in terms of employees and funding issues.’
EAP offers individual consultations for faculty and staff who find themselves in need of mediation or intervention.
If an employee’s immediate family members are involved with an issue, Rozanski can also help, especially when a family member is affected by the economy.
The tough and nebulous economic times have put a strain on faculty, staff and their loved ones said Rozanski.
‘Even though our employees aren’t being directly affected themselves, their families are being affected, Rozanski said. Family members are losing their jobs, they’re losing the insurance that they had through that family member so we are seeing the impact of it here.’
An initial consultation and an assessment will be provided, and then Rozanski will make referrals to outside services.
‘Dr. Rozanski helped direct me in a time I needed it most,’ an anonymous faculty member said. ‘Through the toughest time, the EAP put me through an individual consultation and then to outside therapists. I truly appreciate their help.’
Bob Foldesi, vice president of Human Resources, believes that EAP acknowledges the specific individual needs of employees.
‘We give life skills to help manage life better,’ Foldesi said.
Aside from individual programs, Foldesi said the program tries to put people together that are dealing with similar issues.
Faculty and staff can learn and help each other go through difficult times, according to Rozanski.
‘We’ll also be offering a monthly support group,’ said Rozanski. ‘The support group will be for anybody who wants to come in a meet and talk with other people who are in the same position.’
One example of the support groups provided is a weight management group.
‘It’s not a diet program, it’s called ‘Intuitive Eating’ and it’s a wonderful program being led by our dietitian that is here at CSUN through the health center,’ Rozanski explained.
One of the more popular services offered deals with caregiving. ‘We started that in February offering individualized sessions to employees who find themselves in the position of being caregiver to aging parents or other family members and we had such an amazing response,’ Rozanski said.
The sessions with the L.A. Department on Aging filled up within 10 minutes. ‘We seem to have a very large population of employees that have caregiving responsibilities and it has been just tremendously received.’
‘EAP is about doing the right thing for people,’ Foldesi said. ‘We value our people and see our people not just as a single element as a worker, but as a whole person.’
Rozanski said the program gives her a deep satisfaction.
‘This was my dream job. I’ve been a therapist for over 30 years. I’m a licensed psychologist and I’ve done just about everything within that field,’ Rozanski said.
She had always wanted to work with an EAP program. ‘When this came up it was really my dream come true and I love what I’m doing and the freedom and creativity. I love the population that I’m working with, I love responding to employees and what their needs are.’
For complete services and session times, visit www-admn.csun.edu/ohrs/eap/.