What is Trauma Counseling?
Trauma Counseling is an innovative form of mental health care which provides immediate and confidential therapy at any time in the one-year aftermath of a traumatic incidence. It matches you with a therapist and uses the latest communication technologies—phone, video, text, and even AI (artificial intelligence)—to provide help when you need it, wherever you may be.
Who is eligible?
All active, dues-paying members of PEF who are actively employed or on a leave of absence, are eligible.
I thought I already had this benefit?
No. This is an additional and unique benefit beyond any provided by your insurance, employer, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or Workers’ Compensation.
What does this cost?
There is no cost for eligible members. It is a PEF MBP benefit made available to you through AFT (American Federation of Teachers).
What is covered and when?
You are covered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if your incident involves any of the following: domestic violence, aggravated assault, sexual assault, mass shooting, terrorism, or if you are infected, injured, or traumatized by a disease during a major disaster.
Coverage includes incidents in your place of work if you are traumatized by contracting an infectious disease, witnessing a violent incident, bullying, harassment, threats, or secondary trauma.
Does the traumatic incident have to occur at work to be eligible to receive the benefit?
No. Your coverage is much broader than your employment, as detailed in the previous question. Some incidents are specific to the workplace, others are more broad.
How do I sign up? How can I trust that this service is confidential?
You do not have to sign up for the service until you need it. Members gain access to the program through the PEF MBP website. The Trauma Counseling web page includes an Inquiry form that requires you to provide your PEF Membership Identification Number (MIN) for verification purposes, and answers to a number of questions regarding your incident to determine eligibility. Once submitted, you will work directly with the benefit provider, AFT. Your membership verification is a function handled by PEF MBP. Once your membership and eligibility is verified, you will be contacted by the provider.
Am I required to produce a police report of an assault or incident?
Depending on the nature of the traumatic incident, you may be required to provide either a workplace incident report (either one you submitted to your employer or through PEF, the union), or a police report as part of your eligibility determination for benefits.
Is this different from an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
Yes, the counselors in this program have all received specialized training in post-traumatic care. The benefit offers customized therapy sessions that are staged to include a diagnosis, a midway update, and a final summarizing session.
What if I don’t have access to a computer?
Please call the program’s toll-free number at (855) 631-1421 to speak with an authorized representative about different ways to access the Inquiry form or therapy.
If I use trauma counseling, can I also receive benefits from Worker’s Compensation, my employer, and/or counseling through my insurance?
Yes, this trauma benefit is in addition to those benefits mentioned above.
Is trauma from contracting the Coronavirus disease covered?
Yes, the Coronavirus disease is a covered incident if contracted while at work. A workplace incident report from your workplace or your union, which verifies workplace exposure to Coronavirus, will be required.
When is the benefit not available?
Coverage ends if you are no longer an active, dues-paying PEF member who is actively employed or on leave of absence.
Do I need to enroll?
Working, active, dues-paying PEF members are automatically enrolled.
Is there a waiting period?
No. Once you successfully register through the Inquiry form on PEF MBP’s Trauma Counseling web page, you are immediately eligible to receive this benefit if it qualifies.
How do I find a therapist who is covered by the Trauma Counseling benefit?
You don’t have to find a therapist. The Trauma Counseling program will connect you. It has identified high-performing therapists across the U.S. Each is licensed, has earned a Master’s degree or higher, is trained in post-traumatic incident mental health care, and has undergone an extensive background check.
What if I don’t have time to see a counselor?
Because this counseling is facilitated by today’s technology, you have great flexibility in setting up your sessions which can occur 24/7 from anywhere. Of course, sessions must be scheduled at times agreeable to both parties.
What if I don’t seek trauma counseling right after an incident?
Trauma Counseling can be provided within one (1) year from the date of a covered incident. Counseling must begin within one (1) year following an incident.