Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.54
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
PA-13: Wellness Program

Status Score Responsible Party
1.00 / 1.00 Gerry McCune
Director, Organizational Development, Equity and Health
Human Resource Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a wellness program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all students?:

Does the institution have a wellness and/or employee assistance program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all staff?:

Does the institution have a wellness and/or employee assistance program that makes counseling, referral, and wellbeing services available to all faculty?:

A brief description of the institution’s wellness and/or employee assistance program(s), including information to support each affirmative response above :

The University of Alberta's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) was first established in 1989. Regardless of benefits eligibility all university staff and faculty (including those working casual and hourly appointments) have 24/7 access to services regardless of geographic location. Where the staff member is eligible for benefits, access to EFAP also extends to their registered dependents. The program was enhanced in 2004 to provide a more proactive, holistic approach to health and wellness by complementing the counselling services with lifestyle and workplace support services.

- Counselling. The EFAP provides confidential professional counselling services for a broad range of personal and family problems, including but not limited to: substance use/abuse, anxiety, depression, health concerns, relationship and work related difficulties and family conflict. Services are provided in person, by telephone, or through e-counselling. Staff members can access the number of sessions necessary to adequately and completely address their concerns; there is no cap on services provided.

- Lifestyle. It was deemed paramount that the university provide services that would proactively assist staff members in addressing not only their counselling needs but could also be a venue for accessing more holistic lifestyle services. Lifestyle services encompass nutritional counselling, personal fitness training, career counselling, and financial as well as legal consultation. In addition, Plan Smart Services™ which include customized information packages and consultation, are available for New Parents, Childcare and Parenting, Elder and Family Care, Pre-retirement Planning, Shift Work and Life Development. Individuals also have access to the Health and Wellness companion, an on-line resource for health and wellness related articles and information.

- Workplace Support Services. Whether an individual is a manager, supervisor or staff member experiencing difficulties with a supervisor, colleague, co-worker or subordinate, professional coaching and guidance is available by accessing the Workplace Advice Line. Trauma Assistance Services provide on-site support and follow up in the event of critical incident, trauma or victimization.

The contract was amended in 2009 to include the Graduate Student Assistance Program to enhance the psychological assistance available on campus for our graduate students. The graduate student program offers 24/7 access and is modeled after the EFAP program. At the time of its inception, it was believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.

In addition to individualized services, lunch and learn sessions and workshops are provided. Topics range from stress management and mental health topics, through to relationships, lifestyle issues and life satisfaction. Newsletters, e-courses, and an electronic health and wellness resource center are also available.

Regarding counseling and wellbeing services for students, the following resources are also available:

- Counselling & Clinical Services aims to provide accessible and compassionate psychological and psychiatric services to U of A students. Using a short-term therapy model, we help students improve their personal, social, and academic well-being. We offer consultative services to the University of Alberta community, like opportunities for faculty and staff to consult with us regarding students of concern, as well as provide supervision and training to graduate students in psychology.

- The Healthy Campus Unit is a health promotion team working to support campus health and well being by creating a healthy campus community at the University of Alberta.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:


Sarah Flower
OHE Consultant - Health Promotion and EFAP Administrator
Human Resource Services

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.