The past two years have brought with them heightened feelings of confusion, uncertainty and loneliness for many people. Health care providers in particular are experiencing more physical and emotional exhaustion than ever before, and the demand for behavioral health services continues to increase.

“Having someone to help support and manage those kinds of feelings is important,” said Allison Lilly, LICSW, CEAP, director of the Mass General Brigham Employee Assistance Program (EAP). “There’s been a lot of isolation during COVID, so it’s nice to have someone empathetic to engage with.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the annual number of requests to the EAP for behavioral health referrals has increased by nearly 30%. And while this data feels daunting, it’s a sign that those who need help are reaching out to get it. By requesting a referral through the EAP and working with their counselors, people can better understand what their goals and needs should be as they consider treatment options.

“If traditional therapy works best for someone, we’ll help them understand what a good fit in a behavioral health specialist would be,” Lilly said.  Lilly hopes more employees will be open to virtual options as the wait time for in-person care grows. Virtual care also takes time to schedule, but it offers much more appointment availability and flexibility.

“There are also additional virtual well-being resources for our employees like SilverCloud and Headspace that sometimes fit people’s needs best.”

Wait time and care platform aside, the EAP is committed to getting employees the care they need and the reassurance that they’re not alone.

“We are committed to support our employees until we can transition them appropriately to the care they need” Lilly said.

Learn more about how the EAP can help employees and their families access behavioral health care at

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