What is Penn’s Employee Assistance Program?

Dear Benny,
I’ve been dealing with some stress in my life and heard that Penn offers resources to help me cope. Is there counseling available? What sorts of programs does the University offer to help me out?
—Feeling the Stress
Dear Stressed Out,
Absolutely, Penn offers resources not just for students, but also for eligible faculty and staff and immediate family members. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), offered through the Division of Human Resources, provides people with free, confidential, around-the-clock counseling and referral services for any issue, whether it’s personal or professional.
Counseling can help with stress of a major life change, even if it’s positive, such as adopting a child, getting married, buying a home, or getting a promotion. There are also resources for more serious concerns, such as general anxiety, burnout, coping with an illness, or loss of a loved one. Each person may receive up to eight free counseling sessions per problem, per year. If additional sessions are needed, EAP will work to coordinate with existing health insurance.
Penn faculty and staff and family members may also receive access to support for legal challenges, including estate planning, divorce, and landlord/tenant issues. There is also free guidance available for financial questions about how to improve a credit score, better manage debt, and stick to a budget, among other topics.
Managers may also tap into resources to help resolve conflict, lead after a critical incident or crisis, or deal with group development or interaction issues.
To access all of these services, contact Penn Behavioral Health counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-321-4433. For counseling appointments, people will receive a call back within 24 hours to set up a face-to-face session, either at 3535 Market St. or at an off-campus location. For financial, legal, and managerial support, an experienced consultant will help people clarify concerns, receive assistance, and take next steps.
For more information, go to www.hr.upenn.edu and search for Employee Assistance Program” (PennKey is required).

Got a question for Benny? Send it via email to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 3901 Walnut St., Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19104.