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Employee Assistance Programme

The HSE Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a work-based support service for staff and the organisation. This is a confidential independent service. It supports employees with psychosocial issues (psychological and social factors that influence mental health). These issues may be personal or work related, affecting your job performance or home life.  

The service is free and available to all HSE employees.

You do not need to contact HR or your line manager to use the service. You can phone or email the EAP contact for your area to arrange a consultation with a counsellor. This is known as self-referral.

Your manager can make a referral for you, with your agreement, if they have concerns for your wellbeing.

Services provided by the EAP programme

  • Counselling
  • Consultation to managers on staff wellbeing and psychosocial issues
  • Critical Incident Stress Management (C.I.S.M.) Response - individual and group support and pre-incident training
  • Workshops on staff wellbeing issues

Number of counselling sessions you can have

EAP counselling is usually a short-term service.

If you use the internal service, the number of sessions is agreed between you and the counsellor.

If you use an external service, a limit of 4-6 sessions applies.

EAP and professional standards

The EAP counselling service uses internal and external practitioners.

EAP counsellors are accredited and maintain continuous professional development standards.  The counsellors attend regular clinical supervision with an accredited clinical supervisor.


EAP counselling is a confidential service. No information about your issue will be given to anyone without your written consent.

Confidentiality is strictly maintained, except where:

  • the client, other employees, or the public are at serious risk
  • a criminal offence is committed
  • ordered to disclose by a court of law
  • there is a child protection concern 

How to refer yourself to the EAP counselling service

You must make an appointment to use the EAP counselling service. You can contact the service by phone or email. This is called self-referral.  

Contact your local EAP to find out the supports available in your area.

You can also have a referral made for you to EAP. 

You may get referred by:

  • occupational health
  • your manager
  • your GP
  • your union
  • human resources

Attendance at EAP counselling is voluntary.

Managers making an employee referral to EAP 

Managers can use the EAP service to get advice on staff wellbeing and welfare issues.

With their consent, you can refer an employee to EAP if you have concerns about their welfare.

Signs that an employee may not be coping include:

  • poor workplace relationships with colleagues, service users or patients
  • poor time-keeping
  • being withdrawn from colleagues
  • increased errors or near misses
  • reduced productivity
  • loss of motivation and commitment
  • deterioration in professional standards
  • increased sickness absence
  • emotive reactions

Managers, as members of staff,  may also use EAP services. 

Contact EAP

Contact details for EAP providers in your area (PDF, 277KB, 1 page)

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