Small in feeling, big in impact.
The same impulse that drove Garth Walmsley to volunteer on a crisis line as a teen — wanting to genuinely help people and work with like-minded organizations— still drives Walmsley Employee and Family Assistance Program Services years later. Of course, we’ve learned a few things over the years.
Walmsley is a 100% Canadian company that provides Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Services and Wellness Initiatives to public and private sector organizations. In 1994, with a small team of handpicked counsellors, Garth started Walmsley to provide EFAP services in Prince George.
Walmsley’s holistic approach, accessibility and unique local presence caught on, and we
now provide comprehensive EFAP programs to organizations throughout Canada.
But despite our growth, people tell us that working with Walmsley is “like partnering with a small family-like organization that really cares for people.” We’re not complaining. It helps that, in addition to our highly regarded managers, Garth himself is still delighted to share his expertise with employers.
What we’ve learned could help you a lot.
Get your people involved: If managers are active in promoting mental health, you’ll have a healthier, more productive workplace. This carries all the way to employees: Employee-reps at one worksite wore stickers that said “ask me about EFAP.” People did, and use went way up.
Work with the best: We use Master’s level counsellors that are EAP experts. They belong to a professional association, adhere to a code of conduct, and are the people in the room or online with your people so we’re exceedingly particular.
Let the process take its course: If things aren’t “magically resolved” by session four or five, we keep going. It will lead to a healthier outcome and reduce time off and other, much more costly and painful problems.
Report early and often: We provide regular updates. Managers see usage, and can modify programs and spot worksite trends early enough to take action. You’d be amazed how many of our customers who’d worked with a previous EFAP firm never saw a report before Walmsley.
What's it like to work with us?
Transitioning our Company’s EAP to Walmsley was a great idea. Garth has built a strong network of qualified professional counsellors to support our employees across BC and AB including small communities in remote locations.
Over 5000 employees now have improved access to services, greater choices and additional resources available to them. On the back end, Walmsley provides timely and helpful reporting to understand utilization as well as an annual report with helpful information to steer the program going forward.
Al Caputo, Human Resources Director
Royal Roads has had Walmsley EFAP as our service provider since April 2019. During this time they have been very responsive to us and work with us to customize their offerings to our particular needs.
The account manager is always willing to help talk through any situation and offer excellent advice. We have regular meetings and we receive reports of usage and presenting issues so we are well informed of employee participation.
There are counsellors in the communities where our employees live. They have been at the work site to talk to employees about their services.
Terrie Klotz MPA, CPHR
Associate Vice President Human Resources
Walmsley has provided exceptional service to our employees. They have been our EFAP service provider for a number of years, after switching from an International Service Provider.
We have found Walmsley to have more of a personal approach which has worked well for our needs. Our employees can access counsellors in the communities in which they live and know who to call.
Our account manager has always been available when needed and ensures to provide us with annual reviews, showing usages and any trends that may need a proactive approach.
We strongly recommend Walmsley as an Employee Family Assistant Program.
We feel like we are partnering with a small family-like organization that really cares for people. The counsellors are able to identify more readily with the particularities of the problems being presented.
They provide a locally-based personalized service that treats every client as a valued individual. Personal service means locally-based call services and the ability to make in-person appointments with a friendly attention to your well-being.
Clients can access counselling in a timely manner, no small achievement with rural communities around us in Prince George. Website, library and teleservice keep our members connected to support.
Our members report being well-cared for and respected. When the very rare issue arises, the service provider responds in a timely manner that respects the client first.
My organization meets quarterly with the account manager to review usage reports. We are able to use this time to respond to trends and offer suggestion to service changes.
Daryl Beauregard, First Vice President
As a regional organization, we appreciate the ability of our staff members to access local counsellors who understand the challenges we may be facing in our communities. More importantly, our staff can depend on receiving in-person service when they need it the most.
Walmsley has provided us with Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) services for many years. With their network of counsellors located in many of the communities we serve, we have leaned on them to facilitate education and counselling sessions to our staff – often, on short notice. The sessions are professional, informative, and effectively meet our needs.
From an organizational perspective, Walmsley provides effective data and reporting to ensure we understand how our employees are making use of the EFAP service while recognizing the importance of and maintaining individual privacy.
We appreciate the accessibility of Walmsley’s account manager when we need to discuss an issue or have questions, and value Walmsley’s diverse offerings, both in-person and digital.
Alex Castley, VP, People & Strategy
The Diocese of British Columbia has been using Walmsley since 2010. Walmsley’s reservoir of trained professionals are all local, a unique feature in an EAP service. Wherever you live on Vancouver Island there is an available counsellor in your area. They know well the context in which you live and work. They know many of the same challenges you face because they do too. Therefore, the counsellors are able to identify more readily with the particularities of the problems being presented.
Walmsley counsellors believe that we all have the capacity to change and solve problems often needing a little help from someone else. This conviction is expressed regularly in the educational materials made available to employees.
Our clergy regularly report that the Walmsley newsletter helps them think differently about their work/life balance. We receive regular reports on the service usage (a statistical report only) which provides another opportunity to encourage our staff to acquaint themselves with Walmsley.
The Diocese of BC is very satisfied with the competent, caring and confidential service provided by Walmsley and recommend them without hesitation.
J. Barry Foster, Executive Officer
To provide quality Counselling Services, Employee and Family Assistance Programs and Consultation Services that meet the needs of individuals, employers, and the community, in a timely and responsive manner while understanding and attending to the issues facing individuals, couples and families in the wider social contexts.
Being there matters. In person… in the communities we know and live in… in front of employers more often… and in advance of issues.
Garth Walmsley, CEO
Clinical Manager and Operations
Jenny DeReis, MC Psych, CCC
Northern BC Account Manager
Client Services Representative