Gloversville extends employee mental health contract with St. Mary’s Healthcare

Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis, left, chairs Tuesday’s Common Council meeting at Gloversville City Hall.

At the start of the stressful holiday season, Gloversville City Council Tuesday night reaffirmed the city’s commitment to providing mental health services to all city employees and their families by extending its contract with St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam.

Under the contract, the city would pay a fee of $17 — $1,904 in total — for each of its approximately 112 full-time employees in exchange for access to the hospital’s confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides employees with mental health problems Provides early intervention services related to work, family, finance, or drug or alcohol problems.

“When someone has personal problems, you want to help them,” said Mayor Vince DeSantis.

National survey data released Dec. 1 by the American Psychiatric Association shows that more Americans are suffering from mental health stress this year than last year.

According to the APA survey of 2,209 US adults, 31% of them expect to feel stressed in the upcoming holiday season compared to the last, up 9% from 2021. And that’s despite fewer people worrying about the spread (35% in 2021 vs. 25). % in 2022) or contracting the COVID-19 virus (38% in 2021 vs. 26% in 2022).

Some of the big stressors uncovered in the survey are 50% of people worried about buying Christmas presents, 39% are stressed about having to pay for holiday meals, and 37% are worried about getting the right Christmas present Find.

Gloversville Treasury Commissioner Tammie Weiterschan said Gloversville entered into the EAP mental health contract with St. Mary’s a few years ago and the city has had good results.

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“They offer all the services that are listed in the contract and I don’t know who is going, it’s all absolutely confidential,” Weiterschan said.

Some of the contract terms include:

• Each city employee is entitled to up to three free visits to an EAP consultant.

• If advice or services are needed beyond three sessions, the employee must be referred to an appropriate community facility. All agency fees are the responsibility of the employee.

• EAP services are available to all company employees and family members living in the same household.

• Access to an EAP Counselor is generally available by appointment Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm at the Hospital’s Employee Assistance Program office, 430 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam, at the Hospital’s Canajoharie Family Health Center, 48 ​​Erie Blvd., Canajoharie, and the Hospital’s Johnstown Family Health Center, 700 S. Perry St., Johnstown.

• Mental health crisis services are provided through the hospital’s comprehensive Mental Health and Addiction Center.

• The city agrees that its employees may access EAP counselors without formal notice to the city, and city supervisors have the authority to refer an employee to an EAP counselor for work-related issues.

Weiterschan said St. Mary’s will provide Gloversville with quarterly and annual reports showing usage of the program without revealing the identities of individuals using it.

The Joint Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday evening to continue the contract. Councilor Wayne Peters was absent.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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