Frequently Asked Questions

What is an EAP and what can I call them about?

EAP stands for Employee Assistance Program. The EAP is there to offer employees counselling and information services. You can call Care first about work related or personal issues as well as for general and practical information such as financial information.

How do I contact the EAP?

You can contact Care first 24/7 on the Freephone telephone number – 0808 168 2143. You can also access online counselling on the Lifestyle website.

Who answers the phone when I call?

Calls will be answered by one of our UK based BACP accredited counsellors. On the rare occasion that all counsellors are on the phone supporting other people, these calls will then be answered by one of the Information Specialists or one of our trained Employee Assistance Service Advisors.

What happens if I receive a call-back from Care first?

When a call-back is logged it will be attempted that same day by a BACP accredited counsellor. One call-back will be attempted, and it will appear on your phone from a withheld number.

Will Care first leave me a voicemail if I miss the call?

If we have been given permission by you when you originally called, yes, we will leave a voicemail.

What support can I receive from the EAP?

Every employee can phone the service for ad-hoc in the moment support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If it is clinically appropriate, an employee will be referred for contracted counselling. Each employee is entitled to up to 8 sessions of contracted telephone counselling or face to face counselling.

 Why can’t I have more than 8 sessions?

The model of counselling used at Care first is a short-term focused model.

Who decides what support I should have?

The counsellor will go through a clinical assessment with you. This will ensure that you are referred for the most appropriate form of support.

If I receive face to face support, where do I go for this?

Care first will locate a counsellor within either a 20-mile radius or a 60 minute public transport commute from your desired location. This could be your place of work, your home address or another location.

How quickly can my sessions be arranged?

Contracted telephone counselling can be arranged within 24 hours. Contracted face to face counselling can be arranged within 48 hours and your first appointment will be offered within 5 working days of your referral.

What if my issues are long term and I require more than 8 sessions?

It may not be appropriate for Care first to offer contracted support. What we can offer is support in the moment as well as signposting to where you may be able to seek appropriate ongoing support.

I am already receiving support from another organisation (NHS, charity for example). Can I still receive support from Care first as well?

It would not be appropriate to duplicate any support you are already receiving or soon to receive. If for example there is a long waiting list before you will receive support from the NHS then it may be appropriate to offer support prior to that starting. This would always depend on the clinical appropriateness.

I really feel that face to face support is what I need but the counsellor has offered me telephone support. Why is this?

Following the clinical assessment, at the time the counsellor may feel that it is not clinically appropriate to provide a certain type of support. Please be reassured that telephone counselling can be just as effective as face to face counselling. Telephone counselling may be more appropriate or convenient for the individual.

 I don’t require emotional support but have a question around a practical issue, can Care first help?

Yes. Alongside our counsellors we have a team of Telephone Information Specialists who are all citizens advice trained. They will be able to provide information around issues such as finances, employment, redundancy, housing,