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EAP call analysis points to recession as trigger

NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2009 — Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI), a leading employer and employee resource firm, today released findings of a statistical analysis that point to a drastic increase in marital and relationship issues among those who work in the financial services industry. In addition, the report indicates that the recession likely has driven an upswing in personal stresses - including family, depression and anxiety issues - for employees in finance.

An analysis of queries in the three-year period from January 2006 through December 2008 revealed that calls from financial services employees to HRI's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) have doubled. In addition, from 2007 to 2008, there was a 67 percent increase in the number of calls strictly on marital issues. Consistently, the top calls to the EAP over the three-year period were personal in nature, with marital/relationship topics the top call subject every year. The results of the evaluation emphasize that this economic recession is far-reaching, extending from business-focused concerns about job security and pay to stresses that impact marriage, family and health.

"Given what's been happening with the economy, it's not surprising that there has been an increase in the emotional toll felt by those in the financial services industry," stated Edward Trieber, J.D., Ph.D., psychologist and managing director of HRI. "Employees of financial institutions are internalizing the anxiety associated with a tumultuous work environment. Our review found that these added stresses seem to be manifesting themselves primarily in martial and relationship issues. It's unfortunate but not uncommon for stress to showcase in our personal relationships."

The timeframe analyzed coincides specifically with the onset of the U.S. recession. While many different factors contributed, a majority of analysts indicate that the economic slowdown was triggered by the collapse of the real estate market in 2006. The National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that December 2007 was the official start of the recession in the United States, which continues today. Several economists have predicted that recovery may not appear until 2011 and that the recession will be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

"No one has escaped the personal impact of this recession, but those in finance have been hit the hardest," said Beatrice Harris, Ph.D., psychologist and managing director of HRI. "While the increase in calls from those who work in financial services correlates to an expected increase in anxiety levels, the good news is that these individuals are seeking help. EAP services are designed to support people in difficult times, and counselors are working diligently to help provide solutions that empower the caller to make changes to alleviate anxiety and stress."

About Harris, Rothenberg International, Inc.
HRI helps organizations all around the world solve their most challenging and complex people issues. HRI helps remove the barriers that prevent organizations and employees from achieving their best. Combining professional expertise and the latest technologies, HRI provides integrated solutions to clients, drawing on seven core service areas: employer and employee assistance programs (EAP), work/life services, executive coaching, training, organizational development, consulting, and web development. For more information, visit www.hriworld.com or call (800) 441-7509.

For more information on how HRI can help your organization please call 800-441-7509 or email info@harrisrothenberg.com.




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