Free, confidential distance counseling is available through the UAB Employee Assistance and Counseling Center (EACC) to UAB School of Medicine employees who work in affiliated clinics, such as the Huntsville and Montgomery regional medical centers, the Selma Family Medicine Center, UAB Medicine Leeds and UAB Medicine Hoover, and VIVA Health employees in offsite offices in Mobile, Montgomery and Opelika. Immediate family members of those employees also are eligible.
“Stress management and personal problems can affect an employee’s work performance. The EACC is dedicated to ensuring employees have the resources they need to maintain good emotional health and well-being,” said Tami Long, Ph.D., EACC director. “Distance counseling gives us another avenue to help people do that. We want to encourage people in those outlying areas to reach out and seek counseling if they need it.”
Distance counseling is conducted through HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing system Zoom, which can be downloaded on smartphones, tablets or computers through the App Store or Google Play. Seven of the EACC’s 10 counselors are certified distance credentialed counselors, trained in best practices for delivering traditional counseling through technological means, and each distance-counseling session is 45-60 minutes, like most other counseling sessions available through the EACC.
“We want to encourage people in those outlying areas to reach out and seek counseling if they need it.”
Employees interested in distance counseling can go to uab.edu/eacc and click the New Client Paperwork button, then mail or fax in the completed forms. Following a short phone conversation with an intake counselor, EACC employees will determine whether distance counseling is the submitter’s best option — Long says depending on an employee’s circumstances, distance counseling may not be the right fit — and move forward with scheduling.