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'Call for Proposals' for 2014 World EAP Conference opens
Employee Assistance Professionals Association
The Call for Proposals for EAPA's 2014 Annual World EAP Conference in Orlando, Fla., is now open. The conference will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 2 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Hotel, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort, and ideally situated next to the Downtown Disney® Marketplace, Downtown Disney® West Side and Cirque du Soleil®. Attendees from more than 40 countries spanning the globe are expected to participate. Appropriately for this year's unique location, the conference theme is "Imagine. ..." Focus areas for the conference are: Innovative responses to a changing world; Learning from EAPs in other countries; Improving the EAP/affiliate provider partnership; Serving today's individual EAP client; Weaving the EAP into the fabric of work organizations; and Making a meaningful difference in the eyes of the EA purchaser. Deadline for all proposals is Feb. 18.
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Calculating the costs of a bad or underperforming employee
Almost every manager, when asked, readily agrees that weak employees underperform average employees by a significant amount. When weak performers produce more than 33 percent below the average, it makes clear business sense to invest in an EAP and other productivity management interventions in order to fix or replace weak performers. A basic approach can give EA professionals a head start on this essential calculation.
Study finds chronic alcohol use shifts brain's control of behavior
National Institutes of Health
Chronic alcohol exposure leads to brain adaptations that shift behavior control away from an area of the brain involved in complex decision-making and toward a region associated with habit formation, according to a new study conducted in mice by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. The finding provides a biological mechanism that helps to explain compulsive alcohol use and the progression to alcohol dependence.
Gene activating drug shows promise for PTSD memories
Los Angeles Times
A combination of exposure therapy and gene stimulation may be the best way to alter fear-provoking memories that are the persistent core of post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders, a new study suggests. Using fear-conditioned mice, researchers found they could essentially wipe out a fear response to distant memory by stimulating expression of genes that open a window of opportunity for learning in the brain’s hippocampus, a region crucial for memory processing and consolidation.
Spotting active addiction in clients
Only about 10 percent of addicts fall into the easily identified "low bottom" stereotype. The other 90 percent are people that most of us deal with in our day-to-day lives, often regularly, without our knowing about their addiction. This is because the vast majority of addicts work very hard to hide their problem, be it alcoholism, drug addiction or a behavioral addiction like eating, shopping, gambling, or sex. The simple truth is most addicts are functional for long periods of time, maintaining jobs and even marriages while keeping their problem relatively hidden.
In Silicon Valley, an addiction to 'speed,' a rushed rhythm of life that is spiraling out of control
For Dr. Stephanie Brown, it's been a lot like being a therapist much anywhere else: you're surrounded by patients ravaged by addiction. Yet Brown, who has a specialty in counseling substance abusers, thinks she has identified a new form of addiction, one endemic to Silicon Valley and other stress-filled corners of the country. It's an addiction to "speed" — not methamphetamines, but to an overall rushed rhythm of life that is spiraling out of control.
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Ethical conflicts increase work stress and burnout
CareerCast via Penn Energy
Organizations function when decisions are made with consideration of their ethical and moral impact. For organizations that are in crisis, as many currently are, unethical decision-making often takes place. Researchers Sandra Christensen and John Knohls point out that when organizations are in crisis, they perpetuate turmoil, and that creates "constant stresses for management and employees," ultimately increasing unethical decisions, worker dissatisfaction, and burnout.
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High anxiety: What's driving executive stress?
Significant and disturbing levels of psychological distress exist within executive populations, according to Travis Kemp, a Sydney-based coaching psychologist. From a quasi-randomized convenience sample of 132 leaders, Kemp, managing director and chief psychologist of The Teleran Group, and fellow researcher Suzy Green, from the Positive Psychology Institute, discovered that 37.9 percent of subjects had "caseness" — that is, they showed symptoms that may be consistent with depression, anxiety, somatisation, phobia or paranoia.
Women in poverty face workplace challenges
Climbing out of poverty isn't an easy task, and it can be even harder for low-income women who are caring for their families. Indeed, 42 percent of low-income women experience high levels of stress compared with 22 percent of men, according to research from Families and Work Institute.
Why improving workplace mental health is good business
The Globe and Mail
More than 500,000 Canadians miss work each day because of mental health problems or illness, making it the number one cause for short- and long-term disability. Currently, more than 30 percent of disability claims and 70 percent of disability costs are attributed to mental health problems or illness. The total economic burden tied to mental health problems or illness in Canada adds up to approximately $51 billion per year. Nearly half of this amount — $20 billion — comes directly from workplace losses.
Green gyms rise to accommodate a sedentary lifestyle
By Jasmine A. Koster
Many employees live a sedentary lifestyle. Their commute and the nature of their jobs may require them to sit for 8-14 hours a day. The body requires exercise for physical, mental and emotional fitness — but how best to get it? A new type of gym, low in cost to the organization and high in gains for the community and the volunteer alike, addresses the need for alternative forms of exercise aimed at combating the obesity epidemic. Green gyms, popular in the United Kingdom and available in Australia and Canada, are a trend coming to the U.S. that is a perfect fit for boosting employee wellness.
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