Aspiria (Employee Assistance Program)


Aspiria provides confidential, professional counselling to help overcome such personal problems as emotional distress, marital difficulties, problems with children, or abuse of alcohol or other drugs. In addition, it provides referral services for financial or legal assistance.

If you would like to receive access to the WorkLife online resources from Aspiria, please contact Human Resources.  For more information regarding Aspiria, click on the following link:

1.       Who is eligible? 

All full-time and permanent part-time employees and their immediate family members.

2.       When I call the EAP what can I expect? 

When you call, give your name and identify that you are with Nipissing University. You can expect a return call from a qualified counsellor within 24 hours. After a brief telephone conversation an appointment will be offered to you within five working days.

3.       Why should I use the EAP instead of services covered under the medical benefit plans? 

The EAP is not offered as a replacement for services covered under the medical benefit plans, but to complement them. The EAP service deals with short-term problems and provides referrals to specialized or long-term services.

4.       If the EAP counsellor refers me to an outside source, who pays the bills? 

Services received from resources outside the EAP may be covered under the provisions of our medical benefit plans. It is the eligible individual’s responsibility to find our if services performed outside of the EAP are covered by University’s benefits by contacting the Human Resources Department.

5.       Can I get help for a problem involving my spouse or children, rather than my own personal problems? 

Yes. In some cases it may be more appropriate to suggest that your family member contact the EAP directly for personal assistance.

6.       If I decide to use the EAP, will my manager or co-workers know about it? 

Not unless you tell them. EAP counsellors will deal only with you, not with management, unless you grant legal written permission.

7.       Can I take time off from work for this service? 

Personal time off can be requested from your supervisor, who will consider the request in accordance with existing guidelines for authorizing personal time off. EAP offers both daytime and evening appointments.

8.       What happens in the event of a crisis situation? 

Call the existing EAP telephone number and identify your name and that you are with Nipissing University. Indicate that the situation is a crisis or emergency. Family Guidance has a 7 day a week, 24 hour service in the event of emergencies. A counsellor will return your call as soon as possible

9.       If I have a problem how long will it be until I see a counsellor? 

A counsellor will return your call within 24 hours and an initial appointment will be offered within 5 working days.

10.    If I have legal problems, can the EAP give me legal advice? 

No. It can provide information about your options for resolving legal difficulties. It can provide referrals to lawyers or legal firms, but will not give legal advice.

11.    Will the EAP provide help in resolving financial problems? 

No. Counsellors can, however, provide referrals to resources outside of the EAP where you can get the specialized assistance you require.

12.    If I have received counselling sessions for a problem, may I use the EAP again? 

Yes. You may seek assistance again for different problems. If there is a recurring problem, you may also contact your EAP. The program is not intended for long-term treatment of an on-going problem. If long-term assistance is required, then the counsellor will provide referrals to resources outside the EAP where you can get the long-term assistance you require.

13.    I’m already seeing a professional counsellor, (i.e. psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist) for treatment of emotional problems. Can, I use the EAP, too? 

Yes, in two different situations. You may want to review the treatment that you are receiving from your professional counsellor, and consider options. Also, you can use the EAP when a completely different problem or concern has arisen for you. However, an EAP counsellor cannot provide treatment for emotional problems for which you are currently receiving treatment from someone else. You should always tell the EAP counsellor about your current or previous medical or psychological treatment.

14.    Will the EAP provide service to children under sixteen without parental knowledge? 

Unless required to notify the parents of minors by law, the confidentiality of minors will be maintained. In most instances, the successful resolution of a minor’s problem depends on active support from the parent(s). Therefore, the EAP counsellor will encourage the minor to involve the parent(s).

15.    One of my children attends school in another city. How can he/she use the EAP? 

Your children can use the EAP in the area where they are attending school. Just give them the appropriate telephone number. Across Canada: 1-877-234-5327.

16.    I suspect my child is using drugs. Can the EAP help me? 

Yes. You should contact the EAP to determine an effective role you as the parent can assume in addressing your child’s potential drug problem. The EAP can also help you in coping with the stress usually associated with this type of problem.

17.    My spouse is experiencing emotional stress. Should he/she go to a private practitioner or the EAP? 

The choice of a private practitioner or the EAP is up to your spouse. However, it might be worthwhile to consider the EAP services, which are designed to assess a variety of problems and provide short-term couselling. All services within the EAP will be able to provide appropriate referrals. It is your responsibility to find out if the referrals or services provided outside of EAP are eligible for benefit coverage.

18.    Can my supervisor require me to go to the EAP? 

No. It’s your decision. In some instances however the EAP may be suggested as a source of help if you decide to discuss a personal problem with a member of management. You’re entirely free to accept or reject this suggestion.

19.    What if the EAP counsellor tells me certain work restrictions may be appropriate? 

With your written permission, the EAP counsellor will contact your Human Resources Department and/or your physician to discuss the situation. Work restrictions can be established only through University approval.

20.    Who are the counsellors for this service? 

They are trained, experienced professionals employed by, or affiliated with, Family Guidance contracted by the university to perform this service. They are not employees of Nipissing University.

21.    I have more than one personal problem. Will this program deal with all of them? 

If you want to discuss them together, you’re free to do so. You can talk over as many problems with your counsellor as you think appropriate.

22.    How many sessions are covered under EAP? 

Nipissing will cover the entire cost of the counselling sessions conducted through the EAP.

23.    Why did the University decide to use an outside firm to offer EAP services instead of providing the services in-house? 

EAP organizations have the expertise and experience required; and the use of outside firms helps ensure confidentially, by being offsite. Outside firms are oriented to working with the employee’s problems.

24.    How will Nipissing University monitor this program? 

The EAP and Family Guidance Group provides Nipissing University with quality statistical information. These reports do not include information identifying those who used the program.

25.    If I have questions about this program, whom can I contact? 

Call the EAP, indicate you are a Nipissing University employee, or a family member of a Nipissing University employee.