Massachusetts Department of Correction
Employee Assistance Service Unit

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why Should I Use the Employee Assistance Services Unit?

A. We all experience ups and downs in life. It’s impossible to avoid the many stresses, conflicts,
and challenges that occur in our daily lives. We often resolve these situations on our own, or
with the help of family and friends. Sometimes however, it helps to talk to a peer counselor.

Q. What Can the Unit Help Me With?
A. Any kind of concern imaginable can be brought to the Employee Assistance Service Unit and maybe
simple to complex; such as:

• Alcohol & other drug dependencies
• Bereavement & other problems
• Budget & debt problems
• Compulsive gambling
• Critical & traumatic incidents
• Family, children and elder care • Fitness for duty
• Job stressors & changes in the workplace
• Marital & divorce
• Military support
• Staff wellness
• Stress, anxiety & depression

Q. How Do I Get Started and Where Are the EASU Offices Located?
. By calling the EASU office in your area; and we offer flexible meeting times that fit your
schedule. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or you can call the Duty Station at
508-422-3481 and request an EASU Duty Officer be paged.

Northern Sector – Shirley

Central Sector - Norfolk

Southern Sector - Bridgewater

Q. What’s the EASU Peer Counseling Like?

A. The EASU peer counselors help you sort things out and get to the heart of the issue. It is a
“here and now,” problem-solving approach to resolve the situation. If ongoing or specialized
services are needed, the peer counselor will refer you to resources, follow-up with you to ensure
that you’re satisfied and making progress.

Q. How Often Can I Call the Unit?
A. You can call as many times as you would like. Our role is to provide peer counseling to help
you sort things out, develop an action plan, and provide targeted referrals for ongoing or
specialized services if needed. Many people find it helpful to talk things out with an objective,
experienced professional.

Q. Can Family Members Use the EASU?
Any employee and/or their extended family members can utilize the EASU. Either the employee or
family member may initiate the process by calling the Unit to speak to a peer counselor.

Q. When Should I Use the EASU?
A. Whenever you feel the need to talk to someone; objectively, experienced, and non-judgmental. We
suggest the earlier, the better. Waiting or ignoring a problem usually makes things worse.

Q. Is There a Cost for EASU Counseling?
A. There is no cost to you or your family members for the direct peer counseling you receive. If
you are referred to a treatment or resource beyond the EASU peer counseling, there generally will
be a cost associated with the service. Many of these cost will be covered by your medical
insurance plan.

Q. Is the EASU Confidential?
A. The EASU service is strictly confidential. The EASU is bound by the strictest legal and ethical
guidelines and cannot release any information without your permission. State and federal laws
however, mandate that in cases of child, elder or disable abuse; or where a person may be a threat
to themselves or someone else’s safety, the peer counselor must notify the proper authorities.

Q. What is The Military Peer Support Program?
A. The MPSP was established to support and assist our military personnel and their families while
they undertake their military obligations. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment,
supportive atmosphere and a smooth transition back to work.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction and the Military Peer Support Program recognizes
returning service member’s for their dedicated service during their deployment. The MPSP
co-facilitates Welcome Home presentations at the returning veteran’s facility. The returning
veteran is recognized by his facility for his personal sacrifice by awarding him a DOC Challenge
Coin and a “Thank you for your Military Service” certificate signed by the Commissioner and the
facility Superintendent.

Q. A Message from the Domestic Violence Office
A. The primary mission of this unit is to provide services to employees and their family members
who are confronted with issues of domestic violence. The Commonwealth has a zero-tolerance policy
for sexual assault, domestic violence and harassment occurring within or outside the workplace. It
is the Department’s policy that all employees work in an environment free from all forms of sexual
assault, domestic violence and harassment. These acts undermine the integrity of the work place
and the personal safety of the individual.

The Domestic Violence Coordinator may be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing 
508-963-1853 or by contacting the Department Duty Station at 508-422-3481 and asking that the
Domestic Violence Coordinator be paged.