Commentary

March 1, 2013

Sequestration maybe, but You are not alone!

John Haire
412th TW Public Affairs

Webster’s Dictionary lists about 10 synonyms for this word, “sequestration,” that we have heard all too much about lately. None are pleasant. Aloneness, insulation and seclusion being a few of what Websters√≠ lists. Well, it’s a good thing, we are not Webster’s. Why? We are not alone, insulated or secluded.

We, who may have to face this specter, have a support mechanism that can help us meet the challenge of Sequestration face on. That mechanism is EAP or the Employee Assistance Program.

EAP is an Air Force Materiel Command sponsored service for federal employees and their families. It exists solely to enhance our effectiveness through prevention, identification and resolution of personal and productivity issues. And what could impact our own productivity as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and individuals more than the seemingly merciless specter of DOD-wide sequestration?

Through EAP, we have a professional we can turn to 24 hours a day that can help us with counseling, coaching, legal and financial advice, in short, precisely the tools we may individually need to meet a future of uncertainty and come out on top.

To call EAP, any time of the day or night, dial (800) 222-0364 to obtain an authorization and/or speak with a counselor. A live counselor who can immediately begin to help you see the “light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak. You can also find the EAP on line at www.FOH4You.com. For those who may be hearing impaired, no worries, a TTY line is available too, just call (888) 262-7848.

Here on base, you can call Dr. William ” Bill” Vail at (661) 277-1183.

How does EAP work? Financial consultations are with a financial consultant over the phone for up to 60 minutes. They can help with budgeting, planning and with several financial questions Legal consultations can be by phone or EAP can refer an employee to a lawyer locally as long as the issue concerns topics such as a foreclosure, child custody or divorce, etc. But, the legal referral cannot be work related. Example, an employee could not seek an EAP legal referral to sue their place of work.

One of the best things about EAP is that it is 100% free and 100% confidential, with one exception, and 100% for you, your family members or anyone living in your household, relative or not. The only exception to confidentiality is eminent risk of harm to self, to others or in cases of child abuse. Example: If a person were to call EAP with a loaded pistol on the table in front of them, threatening immediate suicide, EAP would have to do what it could to prevent a tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

After speaking with a counselor on the phone, a referral to a live counselor is not mandatory. The decision to follow up in person rests entirely with you, the caller. Callers can also be referred to counselors near their work or residence so it is not essential for a person to see the counselor here at Edwards. That, again, is all up to the client.

EAP is prepared for furlough and ready to help us out for the duration.

Literally the only thing to fear is not picking up the phone to begin using the tools that are there for you to use. Sequestration may try to make us feel alone, but through EAP, we are only alone if we choose to be.




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