The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is free and confidential counseling, consultation, and referral service for University employees in resolving personal, work-related, and family problems. Immediate family members are also eligible. All FSAP services are a benefit and voluntary.
Location and Hours:
202-205 Middlesex House
111 County Circle
Amherst, MA 01003-9288
By Appointment: Call (413) 545-0530
Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM
- Runs support groups - usually two to four per academic year.
- Assists employees in addressing workplace concerns as well as personal and family issues including individual, couples, and family counseling.
- Consults with supervisors concerned about an employee.
- Provides referrals to off-campus services.
- Offers Workplace Violence Risk Assessments.
- Read more in the FSAP brochure [PDF] or visit FSAP on the UHS site.
- What kind of problems do people bring to the FSAP? All kinds! Think of things you, your family, friends and co-workers have experienced. It doesn’t need to be a crisis. In fact, it’s often easier to make changes if you don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed. The FSAP helps employees with personal problems affecting work performance; it does not advocate or intervene in labor/management issues.
- What happens at the FSAP? An FSAP counselor listens, help sort out issues, feelings and goals, and works with you to solve problems. This may take as few as one or two visits, but there are no time limits. Each person receives the help they need. FSAP staff will follow up with you, to see if the problem has improved.
- Who will know I’m using the FSAP? The FSAP maintains strict confidentiality; records are completely separate from medical or personnel files and no information is released without your written permission, except where subject to mandatory disclosure laws regarding child abuse, danger to self or others, or court order. If it’s difficult to make an appointment during work hours, call (413) 545-0350 at any time and leave a confidential voice mail message with a phone number and time you can be reached.
- Can I get work-release time? Work-release time can be used for FSAP appointments with prior approval from your supervisor, or you can use vacation or sick time to maintain privacy. Work-release time may not be used for referral appointments with outside providers.
- Can my supervisor make me go? No. The FSAP is a free benefit for covered employees and is completely voluntary. Supervisors concerned about an employee’s performance are encouraged to recommend the FSAP; often, employees share information about this resource with their colleagues. Remember that FSAP services are confidential. No information will be disclosed to supervisors unless the client signs a written release.
Guidelines for Supervisors
Performance issues are challenging for supervisors and employees alike. It’s hard to tell someone that problems are jeopardizing their job, and even harder for an employee to accept that personal issues have become so serious. But good can come from this difficult situation. Confronting performance issues while offering a source of help, such as the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), can motivate employees to seek change, improving their health, wellbeing and productivity
When to recommend the FSAP
At one time or another, everyone has ‘off’ days at work, but if an employee who’s usually effective begins displaying one or more warning signs, consider a referral to the FSAP. Look for: declining job performance; chronic absenteeism; frequent tardiness; changes in work relationships; frequent or careless accidents; poor concentration; hostility; or withdrawn behavior. FSAP staff will listen, help clarify issues, offer referrals for ongoing assistance and treatment, and encourage clients to follow through with strategies to resolve the problem.
Do's and don'ts
- try to diagnose the problem
- discuss the problem with anyone except the employee, your supervisor, Human Resources or FSAP staff.
- address the issue as soon as possible. Most problems continue to deteriorate unless confronted; early referral provides a better chance for a successful outcome.
Meet privately with the employee to discuss your concerns. Explain the FSAP’s services, and provide contact information, then plan a follow-up meeting to evaluate progress. Afterward, call the FSAP to let the staff know about the referral and the reasons for it.
Making an FSAP appointment is up to the employee. Program participation is voluntary, not a condition of employment. Progress should be measured by improved work performance.
Employees may use work-release time for FSAP appointments, with their supervisor's prior approval; offering this time is an important way to support your employee. Work-release time may not be used for appointments with outside providers which the FSAP may refer the employee to.
The FSAP maintains strict confidentiality; records are completely separate from medical or personnel files and no information is released without the employee’s written permission, except where subject to mandatory disclosure laws regarding child abuse, danger to self or others, or court order.
Consultation and training
The FSAP offers individual consultations to help you manage a difficult employee situation or refer a specific employee to the program. Group trainings are available for supervisors on topics including alcohol and other drug issues, and the FSAP referral process. Staff can also speak to employee groups, offering problem management tips and explaining the FSAP’s services.
For information, to make an appointment or schedule a presentation, call (413) 545-0350. The FSAP has a new location, on the second floor of Middlesex House, 111 County Circle. Hours are by appointment, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.