In the beginning, the Ascension Employee Assistance Program (EAP) started as a group of likeminded volunteers from various departments in our Legacy Ministries throughout Wisconsin. Staff members from Chaplaincy, Inpatient Mental Health, Behavioral Health, Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Services, and the Social Work departments volunteered their time to assist their coworkers with a wide range of difficulties that our human condition experiences. These early peer support contacts provided assessment, brief counseling, and linkage to a wide array of community resources. That was about 35 years ago. Over time, community businesses turned to us to help them develop EAP programs for their employees.
Unfortunately, all the same problems and life difficulties still exist, with perhaps even more challenges to address all these years later. Our structure and geographic presence has evolved to support the growth of our Ascension sites, associates, and the communities and businesses that we were created to serve. Our EAP staff have evolved from a group of concerned volunteers all those years ago, to a strong team of Masters Prepared professionals who specialize in Employee Assistance Services for the organization and the individual employee. We are a responsive team who addresses issues brought to us, and provides a proactive influence to capture opportunities to strengthen our client companies and establish healthy and effective practices to benefit organizations and employees before the issues arise. And when issues arise, as they inevitably do, Ascension EAP is still here for your employees and your family members.
From the beginning, our focus has been on prevention, resources and the provision of early intervention services that are confidential, safe and responsive. We've built a program that supports self-referral by focusing on trusting relationships with the employees we serve and their organizations. As a result, our EAP has grown to include hundreds of external EAP relationships. Businesses turn to us for assistance in supporting their employees. They rightly know that, beyond being the compassionate thing to do, it also makes business sense, builds positive employee relationships, and improves the health and vitality of their company. The trust that our business clients have in us is something we appreciate, respect, and value greatly.
Although our name has changed and our EAP locations and staff size have grown, our mission has remained a constant. EAP is here to support your employees and their families ongoing health and improvement.