Rapid response

Hands holding

In times of crisis, EAP is there.

The USPS Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential counseling for postal employees and their families — including on-the-ground services for employees affected by emergencies like the recent hurricanes in the south and the mass shootings in Nevada and Texas.

“The scope of EAP is we’re everywhere after everything, every time,” said EAP Administrator Deborah Atkins. “EAP wants to be on the ground as soon as possible after an event, and we want our presence to still be felt even after the news trucks pull out.”

EAP’s emergency response efforts vary depending on the type of crisis.

For example, EAP sent a team to Puerto Rico to provide counseling and other assistance to employees affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Teams will continue to visit the island to offer assistance.

Also, the day after the church shooting in Sunderland Springs, TX, an EAP counselor was in the community to aid postal employees who live and work there.

In every case, EAP analyzes the safety of the area before its field workers are deployed. The program also coordinates extensively with first responders and other agencies.

“We never want to be obtrusive or get in the way,” Atkins said.

Since August, EAP has done more on-site visits and team responses than it did during the past two years combined.

“We have seen both man-made and natural disasters in recent months that have affected so many employees,” Atkins said.

EAP is available 24/7 by calling 800-EAP-4YOU (TTY: 877-492-7341) or visiting www.EAP4you.com, which also has information about the program’s other services.