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New Employee Assistance Plan approved at Joplin Schools

Plan introduces Mental Health supports for every employee

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Schools Board of Education Tuesday night approved a district proposal to begin a new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in support of staff mental health needs.

The EAP was developed through the district’s Health Plan Advisory Committee (HPAC) in partnership with Barker Phillips Jackson, Inc., a regional benefits consultant group. The HPAC is made up of certified and classified Joplin Schools staff members who meet several times per year to provide feedback as the district aims to create the most useful and affordable healthcare plans and benefits to employees.

The HPAC was instrumental in informing recent strategic plan focus areas around instructional support and staff mental health needs.

The EAP, which is expected to go into effect in October, 2022, will provide mental health support to all Joplin Schools employees, spouses, children, and other family members living in the home regardless of their current enrollment in district healthcare plans. Benefits of the program include six free visits with a mental health care provider for each covered event.

“It was wonderful to see Joplin Schools proactively seek a robust Employee Assistance Program,” said Jamie Brummett, the district’s benefits consultant with Barker, Phillips, Jackson, Inc. “Several carriers offer free EAPs with limited visits for employees enrolled in benefits. Joplin Schools selected, and funded, a program that offers services above and beyond a traditional EAP and is offering this to all employees. This is a tremendous benefit that will impact many employees and their families.”

The program also provides work/life services to assist employees going through major life events like births, deaths, retirement, elder care, new homes and more. These options are provided through an app that can be downloaded by all district employees and their family members, or through a toll-free crisis phone number so callers can immediately speak with certified mental health care providers.

“Resources like this could save people,” said Maynard. “The new EAP ensures that the people who need the most help are getting it. Staff members deserve the chance to work and get the help they need, and the EAP gives them access to adequate care 24/7.”

The Employee Assistance Program is expected to cost the district about $26,000 annually through UMR.

“We’re really excited about the ways this new program can help us support our entire staff, whether they pay for district health coverage or not,” said Joplin Schools superintendent Dr. Kerry Sachetta. “Not only does this help us attract and retain a valuable team, it addresses a key focus area in our new strategic plan for instructional support. It’s a win-win, and I’m proud we’re able to offer it.”

For more information about the EAP or the HPAC, please contact Justin Crawford at justincrawford@joplinschools.org or 417-529-3680.

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