Academic & Staff Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions

The Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) is an employee assistance program (EAP) that assists employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, health, mental and emotional well-being. ASAP, similar to EAPs in general, offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees and their eligible household members. EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs. Many corporations, academic institution and/or government agencies are active in helping organizations prevent and cope with workplace violence, trauma, and other emergency response situations.

UCSB academic personnel, faculty, and staff members, and their eligible domestic partners and adult children, can use ASAP services. We see individuals, couples, work groups, or entire departments, depending upon your needs.

Yes, information about your participation is not released to anyone without your written consent, except when legally mandated. Exceptions to confidentiality are provided by law for serious matters like danger to self or others, or child/elder abuse, as outlined in our written consent to counseling form.

No, ASAP services are available at no cost to employees or family members and are not tied to your health insurance. If referrals are made to the community, there may be costs associated with your behavioral health insurance such as a copay that is paid directly to the community provider.

You can schedule an appointment by calling the ASAP office at 805-893-3318, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you call after hours, please leave a message and we will return your call the next business day and arrange the first available appointment. You may also submit the Contact Us form on our website to set up your appointment.

ASAP is located in the Human Resources Office on the third floor of the Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building (SAASB). This is the same building which houses the campus Visitors’ Center. Take the stairs or elevator to the third floor.

Yes, ASAP counselors will arrange to meet you outside of the Human Resources Office, as long as there is privacy for a confidential conversation. We typically do not do home visits.

Our professional counselor can provide counseling on personal or work related problems such as drugs and alcohol, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, couples or relationship issues, family problems, stress, and work difficulties.

ASAP provides confidential consultation for faculty and staff management, and campus administration related to behavioral health problems that impact workplace functioning. This includes but is not limited to: mental illness, chemical dependency, interpersonal problems, employee deaths, threats of violence, work stress and change management. ASAP can also assist with psychological wellness education for work groups, teams, and departments that are tailored to the contemporary needs of the area.

One of the key components of a supervisor’s role is managing an employee’s job performance. However, it can feel overwhelming and isolating to struggle with managing workplace concerns. Supervisors or managers are encouraged to contact ASAP when concerned about an employee or work group, or looking for a neutral place to discuss a workplace situation. Our team is equipped to assist academic personnel, faculty, and staff members with common workplace issues or during a serious critical incident. As an internal employee assistance program, we are knowledgeable and familiar with UCSB culture and organizational departments.

Here are some additional ways ASAP can help managers and supervisors:

  • Consultation on workplace issues, such as employee behaviors impacting work performance or employees with personal concerns that may be exhibiting poor work performance.
  • Discussion on how to communicate effectively with an employee, or on how to approach a difficult/complex situation.
  • Assistance in developing a course of action plan with a troubled employee.
  • Critical incident response following crisis events such as death of a colleague or student.
  • Consultation around current or anticipated restructuring within your department.
  • Workplace threat of violence assessment and management - in coordination with UCPD and Threat Management Team.
  • On-site small work group facilitation. These may be on specific topics designed to increase employee self-awareness or may be in response to a traumatic event such as a death in the workplace.
  • Workshops and trainings customized to department needs. Topics include but are not limited to: Orientation to Employee Assistance, How to Recognize & Refer Individuals of Concern, and Mindful Communication at Work and Home.
  • Educational materials, including Employee Assistance brochures and handouts.
  • Policy, program and behavioral health benefits consultation.

We suggest that you first talk with the individual directly, express your concerns, and encourage them to call or email ASAP to make an appointment. If appropriate, you may make the call for the individual and then let the individual schedule a session. If desired, you may walk the individual to the ASAP office to provide emotional support. You can also call and consult with an ASAP counselor regarding how to refer an individual who may be reluctant to seek help.

Undergraduate and graduate students typically receive services from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) located in the Counseling & Career Services Building (599). CAPS can be reached at 805-893-4411. http://caps.sa.ucsb.edu/

Appointments are usually 45-50 minutes. ASAP provides a short-term counseling model, which is typically 3-5 sessions. Often people can benefit from a single session. If it is determined that the employee and/or family member might need longer term service, the ASAP professional will assist in referrals to private practitioners in the community who are covered by UCSB behavioral health insurance plans.

Our goal is to help you learn how to help yourself. Short-term counseling tends to be very problem and solution focused. We are familiar with the University environment and culture, and what it’s like to be a member of the UCSB campus community. This gives us the inside track in supporting you as an individual and as an employee. You might be surprised at how much can be accomplished in a few meetings with an ASAP counselor. ASAP can work together with outside therapists, too, for your benefit.

You will meet with a counselor and after discussing your concerns, the counselor will assist you in developing a plan. The plan might include more sessions at ASAP and/or referrals to various campus resources and/or to a private provider in the community through your insurance.

ASAP counselors can provide consultation and counseling, but do not prescribe medication. Evaluation for and treatment with medication can be provided by physicians and nurse practitioners. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in evaluation and treatment of mental health conditions. ASAP counselors can discuss these possibilities with you and assist you with finding a provider in the community who can work with you regarding medication options.

  1. If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal, help is available. Don’t hesitate to call the free 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  2. Santa Barbara Area – Free 24-hour local services are also available in the Santa Barbara area. Contact CARES/ ACCESS at 1-888-868-1649 or the SAFTY Mobile Crisis Team/ Hotline at 1-888-334-2777.
  3. For life threatening emergencies during the day or after hours, academic personnel, faculty, and staff members should call 911 and/or have a family member or friend take the individual to a local emergency room.
  4. An ASAP counselor can be called to assist in a crisis situation during business hours and we will make every effort to respond. However, we may not be immediately available so it is important to follow the recommendations above.

Any request for time off from work will require your supervisor’s agreement.  If you do not wish to let your supervisor know that you are coming to ASAP, you can state that you have a doctor’s appointment and would like to use accrued sick leave. ASAP counselors can also make arrangements for appointments on your lunch hour. Supervisors may require confirmation of an appointment, which can be provided upon your request. Due to confidentiality, ASAP will not confirm nor deny whether an employee was seen at ASAP without the employee’s explicit consent.

All services provided by ASAP assume that the individual is seeking assistance on a voluntary basis.

Please contact us at 805-893-3318! We are happy to provide you with more information to assist you in determining how ASAP can be of service to you and your UCSB colleagues.