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Your Path to Mental Wellness

  • Using Your Benefits
Oct. 28, 2021

If you’ve ever thought about talking to someone (outside of your family or social circle) but aren’t sure where to turn, you aren’t alone. The options can feel overwhelming, but that’s where we want to help!

If you’re an ASEBP covered member, you’ve got options (vous avez des options) for seeking professional support. If you’re feeling anxious, are struggling with your recovery or are unsure of how to approach a family or relationship issue, then consider giving the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) through Homewood Health a call. It’s available at no cost to you (or your dependants) and it’s 100% confidential. 

After collecting some general information about why you’re calling, Homewood Health will arrange for an EFAP counsellor to get in touch with you via phone, video call or schedule an in-person session (once COVID-19 protocols allow). They’ll help you develop a goal-focused plan and outline some strategies to help you meet a personal, family or health goal. 

These sessions are intended to be short-term, which means your EFAP counsellor will offer tips and practical ideas to strengthen your personal toolbox. If you or your dependants want help with a different issue or goal, you can call EFAP again though you may be paired with a different counsellor. 

If you find that you need more support or a more specialized approach—beyond what your EFAP counsellor can offer—then lean on your ASEBP psychology benefit to make positive changes to address any deep-rooted habits, emotions and behaviours, or cope with a medical diagnosis that’s affecting your well-being. If you’re currently working with an EFAP counsellor, they can help you transition to a psychology provider.

By tapping into this benefit, you can talk to a Registered Psychologist or Master of Social Work therapist. These professionals use a range of therapeutic approaches including behaviour therapy, interpersonal and mindfulness-based strategies. You might even consider using the psychology benefit to boost your resilience or confidence. If you have questions about your ASEBP benefit coverage, please reach out to us.

In some cases, you may want to talk to a therapist about an issue you’ve previously discussed with an EFAP counsellor, especially if the issue isn’t improving and you’re actively working on solutions. Your psychology benefit renews each year on January 1st and, starting in 2022, the per session maximum for ASEBP covered members is increasing to $180 per hour (up to a $1200 maximum per year). 

What’s most important on this path to healing is that you find a counsellor or therapist you trust. A culture-conscious practitioner who considers your needs within the context of your spiritual beliefs, culture/heritage, gender identity or other considerations will help build that sense of connection. If you feel like the support you’re getting isn’t right for you, it’s okay to talk to another therapist to find a better fit. 

If you’re unsure of where to start, see your family doctor for advice. You can also check out an online look-up tool for a Registered Psychologist or Master of Social Work, a compilation of community resources on our mental health hub or by calling Alberta Health Link at 811 for a referral. 

Whatever path you choose, feel free to take a bit of time and choose what’s helpful for you. If you have questions about your ASEBP benefit coverage, please call us at 1-877-431-4786 or email benefits@asebp.ca