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Notice of Privacy Practices

Do I have to talk to my supervisor or Human Resources department to get information about my EAP benefit?

No. You do not have to notify them in any way that you are seeking services provided by First Sun. Simply call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-968-8143. You can also email us. In any case, services are confidential.

What happens when I call First Sun EAP?

First Sun EAP professionals are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you call, you will talk with an Intake Counselor whose primary job is to understand your needs. Our Intake Specialists listen, and then ask some questions to connect you with a provider who will be responsive to your specific needs. If there is any reason you are not satisfied with a provider, please call us so that we can link you with a new provider who better suits your needs.

Does my employer know I'm calling?

No. Your employer is provided only statistical information that shows the number or type of services used. They do not have access to the names of clients or the specific reasons for their calls. All of this information is kept confidential. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices, or you can view it on the website.

How much do services cost?

Although almost all of the services are offered free of charge to you, the cost varies on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on your company's coverage. There are generally a specified number of counseling sessions available to you free-of-charge. If long-term counseling is desired, the counselor you see would continue billing through your health insurance, at which point standard co-payment fees would apply. Thirty minute legal consultations provided by licensed attorneys are free of charge. You are also eligible for free financial, school, elder care, childcare, adoption and pet care consultations through your EAP benefit. If you need services that are not available through First Sun EAP, our Intake Specialists can help identify and facilitate referrals to healthcare plans or other appropriate resources.

Who is eligible to participate?

Employees of the companies we contract with and their household family members may utilize the services we provide. If there are special circumstances or you have questions about your specific benefit, please call us and we would be happy to answer your questions.

My employer suggested that I call First Sun EAP to resolve some of my issues. I am a good worker. Why are they suggesting I need help?

Companies purchase EAP benefits because they care about their employees and want the very best assistance in a time of need. If you were referred by a member of management or human resources, it is because they value you and your work. They understand that everyone needs a little help sometimes in order to be their best. A workplace referral to the EAP means that your employer wants you to have all of the resources available to resolve workplace issues. Furthermore, a referral to First Sun does not necessarily indicate a mental health problem. While we do assist individuals that need help with depression, anxiety, etc., we also assist people to grow and perform to their full potential in their jobs and in their lives. We can help with budgeting and financing, resolving legal matters, caring for an elder or a child and several other issues. First Sun helps employees resolve their personal issues in a positive way. This helps people to be better at work. First Sun can be the right resource to help you find the right answer.

I'm already going through so much. Why is my employer punishing me and making me go to the EAP too?

The EAP is not a punishment. It is a means for your employer to help valuable employees develop and grow so that they may stay with the company for a longer time. A referral to the EAP is a sign that your employer cares about you and wants to see you succeed.

What type of counselor will I be referred to?

You may wonder if we will refer you to the "right" provider.. Developing trust and confidence in a counselor is important in terms of the quality of work you do with him or her. That is why our staff listens closely to your needs and preferences and works hard to achieve a good client/counselor match each time. Because of the size of our network and our familiarity with the counselors in it, ninety-eight percent of customers who respond to surveys tell us they are satisfied or very satisfied with their counselors. If, however, a match does not seem "right" we encourage you to call us. We are happy to refer you to a different counselor to restore your used session if we don't make a good match.

What are my next steps after being referred to a counselor?


Once an Intake Specialist provides you with contact information for a counselor, it is your responsibility to call the provider’s office to schedule an appointment.  First Sun EAP does not call to remind you of your appointment.  When scheduling your first appointment, simply tell the office staff that you wish to use your EAP benefit.  We will send all necessary paperwork and billing information to your counselor after referring you; there is no need for you to bring any additional information with you to your first appointment.   If you find that you need to cancel an appointment you have previously scheduled with a counselor, you must contact the provider’s office directly as soon as you can, preferably within 24 to 48 hours of your appointment time.  EAP counselors are responsible for maintaining any and all billing information for your EAP sessions, so your counselor should call First Sun EAP directly concerning any payment questions or concerns.

What is counseling like?

Counseling is a process that begins with understanding your needs. Counselors can help you describe your concerns verbally and sometimes emotionally. As you tell your story, the counselor may ask questions or share observations that may help you see and/or feel things differently. Experiencing problems from a new perspective often leads to the discovery of options and resources that had not been seen before. Many people find it helpful and reassuring to have a neutral person to talk with about their problems. This tends to give people an outlet for their feelings. As well as some comfort in knowing they are not alone.

Will the information I share with the counselor remain confidential?

Your confidentiality is important to us at First Sun EAP. We protect your confidentiality to the fullest extent of the law and we abide by the most stringent standards of client privacy. Your company, your coworkers and even your family will not hear about services to you from us unless you request it or the law requires it. It is clearly stated in our contracts that the organizations we serve don't have access to our records. Corporate customers don't pay us through a "claims" process so we don't submit individual claims. Our utilization reports never contain client names or other identifying information. All requests for information are treated with respect to maintaining confidentiality.

First Sun EAP counselors are, however, subject to laws and regulations regarding confidentiality. There are certain circumstances in which confidentiality must be breached. While these situations don't happen often, we are required to report child or elder abuse, to take appropriate action if there is a threat of harm to self or others and to respond to court ordered subpoenas.

How soon can I get an appointment?

The First Sun EAP staff works hard to arrange appointments that are responsive to your needs and preferences. Appointments are generally available during the hours from 8AM to 6PM, Monday through Friday. Appointments can be arranged at other times and on weekends. Urgent concerns are responded to immediately, and our crisis response team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Generally, how long does a counseling session last?

Though they may be shorter or longer, most counseling sessions last between 50 and 60 minutes.

Are appointments conducted over the phone or face to face?

First Sun EAP offers a variety of services to meet your needs. Our Life Management services, such as financial, eldercare, and legal consultations are usually conducted by phone, mail and/or fax. Counseling sessions are typically conducted in private, face-to-face clinical settings and our legal consulting is provided by licensed attorneys.

How frequently will I meet with my counselor?

Typically, at the end of the first session, the counselors ask if you want to continue with counseling. If you do want to continue, the frequency of future sessions is discussed. Often, appointments are scheduled on a weekly basis, but that may vary based on your needs and/or preferences.

What happens after all of my allocated First Sun EAP sessions are used?

If there is a desire to continue service after all allocated First Sun EAP sessions have been used, First Sun Intake Specialists will help clients access available healthcare benefits or other appropriate resources. If all allocated sessions have been used and a new need arises, First Sun EAP Intake Specialists will continue to be available to assess matters and help you connect with appropriate services through healthcare benefits or other available resources.

Contact Us
First Sun EAP
2700 Middleburg Drive
Suite 208
Columbia, SC 29204
to ask us a question online