The city is now offering Department of Education employees access to mental health care and other social services.
Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced today that 170,000 DOE staff now have access to benefits like counseling, substance abuse support and help with child and elder care through the New York City Employee Assistance Program.
The agency refers struggling members of “non-uniformed” agencies under the Mayor’s control to other agencies to help with “personal and social problems.” According to spokesperson for the mayor, decades ago the DOE had a small EAP program but it was cut in the late 1980s. Since then, unions have picked up the slack in helping DOE teachers and staffers manage mental health care while the DOE has “relied on limited in house services when there are tragic events in schools” the spokesperson said.
As part of the expansion, the NYC EAP will hire 26 new employees to specifically help DOE workers.
“The employees who help over one million public school kids reach their full potential every day deserve the City’s support,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. According to the statement, all NYC EAP services are delivered by fully credentialed staff or licensed mental health care providers and are free to all employees and their families.
Under the program, DOE staff with finance, housing troubles can also receive help. NYC EAP will also work to help employees and their families who have suffered a sexual assault or who have suffered domestic violence. NYC EAP staff will also make on-site visits for employees that have experienced a loss or traumatic experience in the workplace.