Can online EAP support replace face-to-face?

July 02, 2019 | Wellbeing technology


There has been a recent surge in the availability of a range of different health promotion apps and technologies. This ranges from applications for physical wellness related to exercise and diet, and behaviour training such as sleep and meditation apps.

Despite these advancements in the tech space for health and wellbeing, there has been minimal diversity in the offering of traditional Employee Assistance Programs. In the workplace, employees are typically offered an Employee Assistance Program in the form of face-to-face support and counselling. This form of support is time consuming, reactive and access may be inhibited by stigma and fear of workplace involvement with an employees mental health condition.

Due to these barriers, there has been increased investment and research into alternative forms of support that may improve the accessibility, effectiveness and nature of support.

Recent research has found that online support is as effective as face-to-face support in the treatment of a range of mental health conditions.

The research shows that these digital programs are just as effective as face to face therapies for common issues. I know that sounds quite shocking, I thought it was quite shocking to think that an app was as good as seeing a therapist. The reason is that these programs have been around for about 10 years, they've been researched through a lot of research centres,” Dr Spence says.

Uprise is the only Employee Assistance Program based entirely on research findings into the best-practice tools for stress management and resilience. The program combines the use of wellbeing check-ups, Upskill resilience exercises and coaching support to provide proactive training and management of employees throughout their role life cycle.


  • Prevent the worsening of mental health conditions: the nature of poor mental health is that it feels impossible to ask for help. Often individuals will suffer in silence for months or years before reaching out to their workplace for face-to-face counselling, By offering online access, you make the process of asking for help very easy. It can also start as resilience training and coaching which can be stepped up if the individual is recognised to be struggling. Uprise measures wellbeing scores at the beginning of the program and those with a particularly low score will be immediately contacted for further assessment and support.
  • Remove fear of workplace involvement: Individuals who are suffering from a mental health condition or poor mental health may want to ask for support but fear the repercussions from their workplace finding out. Often face-to-face support offered by traditional Employee Assistance Programs requires the involvement of HR professionals. Uprise instead allows quick and discrete access to support online or via phone or video with a professional clinician. Book an online demo today.
  • Reduce stigma of speaking to a professional clinician: Most people have never spoken to a professional about their mental health. The prospect of meeting a counsellor face-to-face may seem very daunting for a first experience. By allowing individuals to contact a personal coach over the phone, this can be an easier first step to reduce the stigma of “therapy”.
  • Allow anyone to get help including busy parents, remote or virtual workers: Face-to-face counselling ultimately excludes a large proportion of employees who don’t have the spare time or nearby counsellor to access traditional forms of support. Uprise in particular to designed to support remote and virtual employees who are time poor. The online training and personalised coaching helps these people to get the support they need in a format that is convenient for their lifestyle.

Although some individuals may need face-to-face support, online support ultimately improves access for a much larger proportion of the population. It is the responsibility of a workplace to make this support as accessible as possible for its employees.

Uprise is a proactive employee assistance program (EAP) provider that improves employee engagement, retention and performance by enhancing psychological wellbeing. Learn more about how our program helps to proactively reduce employee stress.

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