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ORLANDO, Fla. – “Imagine …” was the theme at the Annual World EAP Conference, held Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the Hilton Orlando Lake PICT0051Buena Vista. Some of the highlights will be posted on this blog. Watch for more highlights and articles in future issues of the Journal of Employee Assistance (JEA) and Employee Assistance Report (EAR) – see http://www.eapassn.org and the “Employee Assistance Professionals” tab at http://www.impact-publications.com respectively.

DAY ONE – The highlight of day one as usual was the annual EAPA Marketplace Grand Opening Reception. The event is a great way to meet the conference exhibitors to network and see what types of products and services they have to offer. Some of the nearly 100 vendors included: Crisis Care Network, Crisis Management International, Father Martin’s Ashley, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and many others.

DAY TWO – Wolfgang Seidl, M.D., head of health management consulting with Mercer Marsh Benefits in the United Kingdom, presented the opening keynote titled: “Work, Love & EAP in the 21st Century: Imagine Employee Assistance as a Confident and Unique Profession.” His discussion mentioned how new opportunities, such as the global drive to create corporate wellness services and a compelling employee value proposition, are challenging the EA profession. Breakout sessions I attended were:

Design and Create 21st Century Supervisor Training that Makes an Impact – Presented by Greg Brannan, Susan McDonald-Conroy and Roz Laraway, this session featured the details of a real-world continuous quality improvement project, using the Workplace Outcome Suite and the A.U.D.I.T.

An Investigation into EAP Counsellors’ Experiences in Kenya – Offered by Cecilia Rachier, this breakout utilized key findings from a recent study to illustrate the current state of EAP in this African nation.

Demonstrating the Impact of EAP Services on Workplace Outcomes: Preliminary Research Findings – Presented by Elizabeth Merrick, Bernie McCann, Melissa Richmond, and Randi Wood, these professionals explained how a landmark study conducted by the OMNI Institute is examining the relationship between AP services and work-related outcomes… research that is often lacking in the EA field.

Making EAP Services Relevant to the Facebook Generation – Scott Cousino, co-founder and CEO of myStrength, Inc., shared his observations of how technology needs to be actively integrated and promoted as part of EAP services… but not as a replacement and treatment in and of itself.

I also got to attend this year’s International Attendees Reception at the Hilton.  It’s a great opportunity to catch up with EAP acquaintances from across the world that I’ve met previously…….. and to meet a few new terrific EA professionals as well!

WATCH FOR DAY THREE AND FOUR POSTS LATER THIS WEEK. FOR MORE INFORMATION and the CONFERENCE ON DEMAND, visit EAPA’s website at http://www.eapassn.org.

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