DENVER, CO – Day #3, Oct. 27 – Today, the World EAP Conference shifts from the Hyatt Regency to the Colorado Conference Center (next door). It is a challenge to decide which conference sessions to attend out of so many interesting subjects – but I decided to sit in on “Recovery 2.0: Effective Use of Interactive Technology in Substance Abuse Treatment,” by Emil Chiauzzi. The session provided a practical overview of the use of interactive technology, such as the Internet, and smartphones, in substance abuse treatment. That same afternoon, I attended the “World Update,” which this year featured the growing EAP market in China, and “Online Innovations for a New Generation of Clients,” by DeeAnna Nagel and Lyle Labardee. I noticed that there were more sessions this year related to technology – readers of both Employee Assistance Report (www.impact-publications.com – EARN link) and the Journal of Employee Assistance (JEA) (www.eapassn.org) can expect to see more articles about technology’s impact on the EAP profession this coming year. The EAPA website also has a great deal of additional information about the conference.
Day #4, Oct. 28 – The day starts off with the EAPA Marketplace continental breakfast. The marketplace exhibitors offer a wealth of resource-related information for conference attendees. In addition to technology, the vast number of Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers returning to the workforce is having a significant impact on EAP, so it’s not surprising that there were a number of sessions relating to this topic as well. One of them was “Supporting Employment Success for Veterans and Other Employees with Disabilities” by Elena Carr and Michael Reardon. Note the: “and Other” part of this title, as the number of persons with disabilities is on the rise. In keeping with the technology focus, Weston Edwards presented a very interesting afternoon session on “Helping the EA Professional Address Cybersex.” ANY topic related to technology was well-attended – including this one.
Day #5, Oct. 29 – Saturday’s conference highlight was a crucial issue forum, “Every EAP Purchaser’s Dream: Evidence-Based SBIRT Value” by Tracy McPherson and Eric Goplerud. The emerging importance of SBIRT was addressed in the 1st quarter 2011 JEA. On a personal note, my wife and I had great fun wrapping up our Denver stay by driving up into the incredibly scenic and majestic Rocky Mountains – as well as the famous Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre, which has hosted concerts from everyone from the Beatles, to Bruce Springsteen and Willie Nelson. Oh, and I didn’t even mention that it SNOWED on Wednesday (26th). From fun and frolic, snow and sun, business and networking – “Reaching New Heights! The Unfolding Landscape of Employee Assistance,” EAPA’s Annual World EAP Conference in Denver, was truly an extremely memorable event!