POSTED: March 25 2019
More employees turning to digital counselling for support

More employees turning to digital counselling for support

The number of employees using digital counselling services to support their mental wellbeing has more than doubled in a year.

Statistics from health and wellbeing provider, Simplyhealth’s own Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) data shows the number of employees using online counselling sessions, in the form of video link appointments, offered through their health plans has more than doubled in 2018, compared to the previous year.

While the overall number of counselling and advice calls has increased slightly with a 6% rise year on year respectively, the number of face-to-face to counselling sessions held fell by 15% in 2018 as service users seek less traditional methods of accessing support.

Calls to the EAP number from employees seeking advice for mental health issues rose by a quarter (24%) in 2018, and calls relating to financial queries increased by 29%, highlighting the key areas of concern for the employees of today. Their data also reveals that the largest growth in calls were related to civil issues (84%), followed by eldercare (61%) and then childcare (55%).

Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth

Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth commentedIt’s really encouraging to see from the data that employees are proactively looking after their mental wellbeing and engaging with their EAP.

Technology offers great opportunities for employers to offer wellbeing support through an increased number of access channels and our data shows there is demand with the number of online counselling sessions doubling in just one year. Traditional face-to-face counselling can be daunting for some people; using digital technology such as video calling, offers great ‘in the moment’ support and enables employees to engage with it at a time and place that is most convenient for them.”

The EAP data also reveals the amount of employees who returned to work after therapy increased by 4.8% from 2017 to 20181.

While an EAP supports employees, it also has added benefits for the business, helping staff to remain in, or return to work quickly, which helps the business to support and maintain everyday wellbeing and performance.



All figures stated are from Simplyhealth’s global EAP service provided by Health Assured, comparing 2017 data to 2018.  

  1. Refers to the employees who were off sick at the start of therapy who then were back in work by the end of therapy