Counselling is available in person, by phone, by video, or online. There is no cost to you. Offices are local and appointments are made quickly with your convenience in mind.
Have a preference for location, gender, appointment time? Homewood will do their best to accommodate your preferences. When you call Homewood Health’s toll-free number, the intake consultant you speak with will confirm if your preference is telephonic, face-to-face, or online counselling.
Homewood Health guarantees your confidentiality
Homewood is a trusted Canadian company with years of experience delivering the best possible support for clients like you. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the EFAP. The program allows all EFAP clients to discuss any life-issue in complete confidence, whether speaking with a Masters’ level counsellor or another professional for one of the Plan Smart specialty services (e.g. Lawyer or Registered Dietician). Homewood Health standards of confidentiality are the same as those used by medical doctors in Canada. You and your family may rest assured that all conversations and dealings with the EFAP will remain strictly confidential within the limits of the law*.
A number of steps are taken to ensure confidentiality and privacy:
- Appointments are scheduled for privacy. No two persons from McMaster University will have back-to-back appointments with the same counsellor.
- Private off-site offices for face-to-face appointments.
- This program is voluntary, no referral is needed. You can contact Homewood directly.
- Phone messages are never left without prior permission.
- Flexible scheduling
- Reports made to McMaster University contain only aggregate data on usage and trends utilizing non-identifying information.
- Homewood Health is fully accredited by the Council on Accredition (COA), an objective and recognized body for EFAP provider accredition, which also ensures organizations meet the standards of confidentiality.
*Homewood Health is required by law to disclose what would otherwise be confidential information when there is a risk of serious injury to oneself or others, there is suspicion of child abuse as defined by provincial legislation, or when served with a properly executed court order (i.e.subpoena).
Homewood Health counsellors are experienced professionals who are registered psychologists, registered social workers or Doctorate or Master’s level registered counsellors, chosen for their extensive experience dealing with a variety of psychological and health issues.
Homewood Health makes every effort to match clients with counsellors based on client needs within a vast clinical network. If for some reason you are not comfortable with the counsellor assigned to you, call the toll free number 1-800-663-1142 and Homewood will reassign a counsellor to you. Your comfort is important to McMaster University and Homewood Health.
What to expect when you contact Homewood Health
When you contact Homewood Health, you will speak with a qualified intake Support Specialist who will:
- Assess your situation.
- Please note: for safety reasons you will always be asked if you may cause potential harm to self or others whenever you call Homewood Health.
- Ask you a few brief questions, including the name of your organization and your date of birth so they can verify they are talking to the right person and can confirm all the services available to you as part of your benefit coverage.
- Assess your needs and preferences, and guide you to the assistance best suited to resolving your concerns.
- Ask if it is okay for a counsellor to leave a message on your voicemail to follow up. If you indicate that you would not prefer voicemail messages, you may need to follow up with Homewood Health to obtain your appointment time if you miss your counselor’s phone call.
- Assess your situation.
It is important to know, you do not need to know what service you want, you just need to provide information about what you are currently experiencing. All of the information shared by Homewood Health is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone.
- There are no costs to current benefit-eligible employees and their immediate family members when they receive this service.
- Occasionally, one of the EFAP clinicians may refer the individual to an outside service or agency if an extended counselling program is required or if some specialized treatment is warranted. In these instances, the EFAP clinician will stay in touch with the employee until the problem is resolved and the outside service is no longer required. An attempt will be made to refer to outside services where provincial or employee health plans and government services will cover the cost.
Homewood Health offers coaching support for a variety of life balance and health issues, or get expert support to better manage your career. Life Smart Coaching services are available by phone. See below for more information.