Georgia Tech’s Office of Human Resources encourages employees to maintain work-life balance, offering programs and resources that enhance their personal and professional lives. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is a confidential counseling service that assists employees in addressing emotional and mental health concerns they may be experiencing.
Anne McSorley has served as the director of the FSAP for twelve years and is also a consultant to the Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University and a graduate degree in counseling and psychological services from Georgia State University. Her twenty-plus-year career has largely focused on behavioral risk management, mediation and workplace consultation. She has expertise in providing support for a number of workplace issues including depression, stress and suicide prevention; change management; team building; communication and conflict resolution; motivation coaching and mentoring.
Could you give an overview of the FSAP?
The FSAP is an assessment and referral counseling program for faculty and staff at Georgia Tech. The FSAP responds to employees in need—whether they are having issues at home or at work. It is a hybrid program: offsite, but maintaining a presence on campus, too. Licensed professional mental health providers committed to client respect and privacy offer behavioral mental health services in a confidential location. The program provides a resource and benefit for employees to access counseling through their insurance and community resources. The FSAP can “translate” for them and help them get care to match their needs.
When was the program established, and how successful has
the program been?
The FSAP was established more than twenty years ago. The program is very successful—the team establishes utilization rates every year and compare them to industry standards in general and academic institutions in particular, and it ranks near the top.
What types of counseling services are available through
the program, and is there a cost?
The FSAP offers confidential and professional consulting, counseling, education and referral services that cover areas such as family and spousal/partner relationships; parenting and eldercare concerns; alcohol and substance abuse, as well as other addictive behaviors; financial pressures; psychological issues (e.g., depression and anxiety); stress; conflict; and work-related matters. The FSAP is a benefit for all Georgia Tech employees—there is no cost.
How can employees receive counseling through FSAP?
It’s very simple. The FSAP has a dedicated line for employees on campus. The team operates during business hours, and can be reached at 404-894-1225. It is a voice mailbox that is checked several times a day. It is completely confidential, and a counselor will call employees back usually within the day. If an employee is having a mental health emergency, we ask that they call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
What is the estimated number of current employees who are
using the program?
The FSAP's utilization rate hovers between 4 and 5 percent of all Georgia Tech faculty and staff within a given year.
What is a major reason why employees may be hesitant to
use the FSAP, and what is the response to this hesitancy?
They worry that the FSAP is part of management, and if they disclose a problem, it will reflect on their record. It’s not how the program works. The FSAP has an independent consulting relationship with the Institute. All records are kept offsite in FSAP offices, and unless an employee signs a release of information, all sessions are kept confidential.
What role can supervisors play in making their direct
reports aware of the FSAP as a resource?
Supervisors who are worried about an employee will often recommend our program and reassure their employees that it is confidential and no report will be sent back to them unless the employee requests it. The FSAP is introduced to each employee during orientation. In addition, supervisors tend to talk about this benefit to an employee whenever it’s clear that there is a concern about the employee’s welfare.
What are the key things about the FSAP that employees
That it’s confidential and a benefit. It is are not an emergency service, so the team urges employees to call at the earliest sign of a concern before it becomes a crisis. This way, employees can be assessed and referred as quickly as possible.