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The USDA Employee Assistance Program

Regulations and Guidelines:

DR 4430-792-1 Employee Assistance Program

Program Summary:

The work we do at USDA on behalf of the American public is important and rewarding, both personally and professionally, but it also can be difficult, involving a significant amount of stress. We have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place to help you when the pressures of work, home life, or other stressors become overwhelming.

The goal of the EAP is to assist agencies in developing and maintaining a healthy and productive workforce and to empower employees to resolve personal problems that impact or may impact conduct and work performance in the quickest, least restrictive, most convenient and cost-effective manner possible.

The EAP is a short-term assessment and referral service to help you deal with emotional, behavioral and well-being issues that may be affecting your work. The EAP is free of charge and is open to you and your immediate family members. Family members who reside in your household and your dependent children who may be away at school are all eligible for EAP services.

  EAP personnel might include:
  • Licensed/certified counselors who provide mental health counseling and referrals as well as information to resolve personal problems that may impact work performance;
  • Licensed attorneys who provide consultation and referral services for a wide range of legal issues including healthcare power of attorney, Living Wills, housing or real estate matters, family law, identity theft, criminal matters, traffic violations, and other legal matters; and
  • Qualified financial consultants who can help you with tax information, credit card debt management, debt consolidation, savings and investment strategies, retirement planning, and other financial issues.
EAP services are open to all USDA employees and also might include specific services to managers, supervisors,   and labor representatives, such as:
  • Consultations on ways to assist employees handle job performance issues caused by personal problems, challenges, or behavioral/health issues, including chronic absenteeism and "presenteeism" (when an employee is physically present but mentally/emotionally detached and unproductive);
  • Advice for constructively talking to employees regarding job performance, resolving misconduct, and addressing other issues that negatively impact an employee's ability to successfully do their jobs; and
  • Information to develop plans for handling and responding to traumatic events, including counseling services to employees to decrease emotional stress and increase overall employee functioning.

On request, EAP experts might also provide employee orientation about the range of services and how to access them, and they can conduct health promotion and education programs with an emphasis on job performance issues and other problems.


USDA's EAP services are decentralized and differ from agency to agency and place-to-place. Therefore, not all the personnel and services listed above are available everywhere. Please use the following information to verify which specific personnel and services are provided for you by your Agency EAP, and contact your Agency EAP Coordinator for more information. The contact roster list linked at the bottom of the page.

Employees assigned to the following should contact.

  • OCIO: Sand Creek Group at (888) 243-5744 or online at SandCreekEAP.
  • Forest Service: Shelly Pacheco at (505) 328-5725, your Regional Forest Service Office, or the ASC/HRM for their specific EAP provider.
    • Region 1 and 3: ESPYR at (800) 869-0276
    • Region 4: ComPsych at (888) 290-4327
    • Region 6 and PNW: Deer Oaks EAP Services at (888) 993-7650
    • All Other Units: Federal Occupational Health at (800) 222-0364

  • All other USDA employees: Federal Occupational Health at (800) 222-0364 or online at FOH4you.

For more information on the Federal EAP, see the OPM website.

For additional information, contact Bonnie A. Droter, USDA EAP Program Manager at (202) 720-0412 or or your EAP Coordinator (EAPC Contact Roster).