AccessEAP in media

Leading from the front: How to spot symptoms of trauma and support your people

Published in LH Agenda 3rd June 2022

Marcela Slepica, AccessEAP Director, Clinical Services says, "as leaders, we must be able to recognise the signs our people might be struggling – and know how to help."

Like any mental health challenges, the most effective way to gauge someone’s feelings is to ask. Reaching out to a colleague to check if they’re okay could be the important first step to them feeling better.

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Regional mental health

Published in The Canberra Times May 13 2022

Letter to the Editor - Melita Griffin, AccessEAP Director, Customer Relationships

Regional mental health

Melissa Meehan's article on the struggling mental health system in regional Australia ("Regional post-COVID mental health crisis",, May 4) raises a troubling trend that is prevalent on a national scale. As demand for mental health support outstrips supply, companies are well-placed to support the system with early intervention.

The Australian Counselling Association reports waiting times of four to six weeks for a quarter of those living in rural and regional areas, but this is just the tip of a deep iceberg. As one of Australia's largest Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), we've had countless reports of waiting times as long as nine months.

With more than two thirds of regional Australians experiencing depression and anxiety over the past two years, it's never been more important for mental health and wellbeing providers to work together to support those in need. No one should have to suffer in silence. 

How to best manage your mental health during traumatic events

Published in Busy Continent 15th April 2022

Marcela Slepica, AccessEAP Director, Clinical Services discusses how to best manage your mental health during traumatic events.

Increasingly, in a post-pandemic era, organisational leaders have both an opportunity and an obligation to ensure that employee mental health does not slip from the agenda. 

It’s human to become stressed when we see other people in pain. Understanding that a trauma can happen to anyone is a good place to start. But how do we spot the signs? Find out more below.

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The COVID Generation: Wellbeing lessons from a global pandemic

Marcela Slepica, Director, Clinical Services

Published in The Daily Telegraph 9th March 2022

Marcela Slepica, AccessEAP Director, Clinical Services


It shouldn't have taken a global pandemic to take mental health and wellbeing seriously, particularly in the workplace. But after two years of COVID, it’s important we take a moment to reflect on the lessons learnt and where we go from here.

Mental health and wellbeing support is essential

New AccessEAP CEO appointed

AccessEAP is delighted to announce the appointment of Fiona Mackenzie as CEO, commencing 1st February 2022

We are pleased to announce that Fiona Mackenzie has been appointed the new CEO of AccessEAP. An experienced business leader, Fiona will succeed Sally Kirkright and assume responsibilities on the 1st of February 2022. After 11 years as CEO, and successfully leading the growth of AccessEAP to become a leading EAP provider in Australia and New Zealand, Sally has decided to take a sabbatical and will be relocating to country Victoria.

Fiona brings more than 20 years senior leadership experience across multiple industry sectors including Financial Services, Aged Care, Human Services and Business Consulting. This experience includes her current role with Anglicare, a respected for-purpose business, where she is currently Executive General, Manager Customer Strategy and Retirement living.

AccessEAP Chairman Greg Mackay said that Fiona was chosen after an extensive and thorough search and recruitment process. “Fiona is an outstanding choice, bringing experience from financial services, consulting and for-purpose organisations and is well-positioned to help us continue our current strategic journey and be aligned to the culture and values of our business” he said.

While at Anglicare, Fiona re-engineered Retirement Living sales capability to be more agile, professional, data-driven and technology-enabled. “Fiona will bring proven abilities to deliver transformational change in response to changing business environments. Our mission, to help create mentally healthy thriving workplaces and communities, is more important than ever before as we continue to support organisations manage the people challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Fiona holds an MBA (Exec) and Graduate Certificate in Change Management from AGSM, a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Counteracting unconscious bias in the workplace

Published in Echo Chamber Escape 23rd June 2021

Marcela Slepica, AccessEAP Director, Clinical Services explains, identifying your own unconscious biases is the first step to creating better inclusivity.

While we may think we are making decisions based on logic, as humans, we all make assumptions about other people. In fact, it only takes a tenth of a second for us to begin to form an opinion about someone we’ve only just met. 

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Men still face stigma around getting help for mental health at work: Study

Published in Human Resources Director 24th June 2021

Speaking to HRD, Marcela Slepica, Clinical Services Director at AccessEAP, said despite positive progress, it’s clear that societal barriers to accessing support still exist and they’re particularly strong for men. The classic Aussie idiom of men ‘doing it tough’ only perpetuates the idea that asking for help is a sign of weakness – when in fact, it is often the bravest step a person can take.

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Business leaders must keep mental health awareness top of the agenda

Published in Newcastle Herald 26th May 2021

Sally Kirkright, AccessEAP CEO

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Education organisations poised to provide mental health support to parent teachers

Published in Education Today 15th February 2021

As most educators are aware, mental health conditions can have long term, direct and indirect effects on a child’s development including impacts on social skills, the ability to absorb information and their enthusiasm for learning. This makes it vitally important that parents know all of their options for assistance.

So, what help is there for teachers who are experiencing childhood mental health issues in the home and what can they do? Most organisations will have an Employee Assistance Program in place and teachers can confidentially access this support for themselves and family members.

Marcela Slepica AccessEAP Director, Clinical Services.

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How Project Managers Can Prevent — or Cause — Employee Burnout

Published in The Uncommon League 19th January 2021

Burnout has often been associated with caring professions (such as nurses) and first responders (such as firefighters), says Marcela Slepica, clinical services director at employee assistance program AccessEAP. But it certainly isn't restricted to jobs that involve saving lives.

Any environment can become a burnout incubator. And often, managers play a role in creating the perfect setting for employee stress.

6 easy steps to help you end feelings of isolation

Published in Kochie's Business Builders 20th December 2020

How to take care of yourself and harness positive psychology.

"When there is a shared sense of purpose in the workplace, people tend to feel more satisfied with what they are working towards. Business leaders should consistently communicate to their team about their role within the organisation and how it contributes to the vision and mission of the business, providing a sense of meaning to the work they do." Marcela Slepica, AccessEAP Director, Clinical Services. 

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Why eliminating start and finish times is the next workplace revolution

Published in ABC News 15th December 2020

Clinical Services Director at AccessEAP Marcela Slepica says that COVID has shown that working remotely has been successful for many industries and types of businesses, although notable exceptions include essential and frontline workers.

"The transition into working from home has taught organisations about the possibilities and productivity of employees in roles which do not have fixed start and finish times," she says.

"These learnings can be adapted to accommodate employees with disabilities and chronic illness."

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The 'new normal' is really anything but

Published in The Canberra Times 8th October 2020

The new normal "has become a universal term defining the hope that we will return to a pre-COVID-19 existence, or at least a sense of normality. However, for workplaces and their employees, the truth is that we must prepare not for a "new normal" but for continued unpredictability and a new, abnormal life.,” Sally Kirkright, CEO at AccessEAP.

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R U OK?: Tips to destigmatise mental health in business

Published in MyBusiness 1st September 2020

“As a place of social connection and a source of structure and purpose for employees, workplaces have a unique role to play in starting the conversation and making sure the conversation is continuous. This is particularly relevant when so many people are feeling isolated and still working from home,” said Marcela Slepica, clinical services director at AccessEAP.

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Leadership ‘compassion gap’ revealed amid crisis

Published in Human Resources Director 15th July 2020

In this climate, being ‘human’ will create a lasting impression on employees and have knock-on effects on the organisation in the long run. Marcela Slepica, Clinical Director at AccessEAP told HRD that empathetic leaders often display increased emotional intelligence and are better at creating a more inclusive workplace.

It is said that nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care’ and this is certainly true in a workplace setting,” said Slepica.

Employees who feel cared for and are valued are more productive, innovative and loyal.”

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The ‘new abnormal’? How to adjust to changing leadership

Published in Human Resources Director 29th July 2020

Businesses should focus, not on what’s changing, but rather what remains - the importance of people and trust, according to Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP.

According to Kirkright, leaders need to forget “The New Normal”, but rather adjust to “The New Abnormal” we are currently in.

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Looking out for educator wellbeing

Published in Education Today 30th June 2020

More needs to be done to ensure teachers wellbeing is championed to aid the trickle-down effect from teacher to student.

“It is undeniable that the educational workplace environment can be high pressured and demanding,” says Sally Kirkright, CEO of employer assistance program provider, AccessEAP.

Many teachers and principals face a variety of stressors in their day-to-day work, such as low pay, long hours, poor work-life balance and a lack of support, this can increase the risk of experiencing mental health issues as a result. As resilience is continuously tested, teachers can burnout, quit their jobs and cycle out of the education sector.

“Schools should be considered workplaces first, classrooms second,” Kirkright continues.  “If these problems aren’t solved, they may slowly lead to a crisis of mental ill-health, stress, frustration, overall attrition and increased student disillusionment with education,” she adds.

Young workers at the COVID-19 frontlines

Published in Safety Solutions 26th June 2020

"Working with young employees presents a number of challenges, especially for those in the retail sector. The coronavirus pandemic has compounded the challenges employers face, especially with regard to safeguarding the mental wellbeing of their young workers.

Marcela Slepica, Director Clinical Services AccessEAP, offers some focus points for retail employers and managers to help them maintain the wellbeing of their young workforce as the sector faces perhaps its greatest challenge in living memory."

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Businesses told not to ignore men’s mental health

Published in MyBusiness 8th June 2020

Businesses have an important role to play in helping Australians face the mental health impact of COVID-19. Many will face heightened anxiety, social isolation and stress as a result of the unprecedented crisis.

"Some men who suffer with mental health problems feel societal stigma which is often what prevents them from opening up." Marcela Slepica, Director Clinical Services at AccessEAP.

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How has COVID-19 impacted men's mental health?

Published in Human Resources Director 5th June 2020

Men are often stereotyped in pop culture into unrealistic images of masculinity that discourage them from getting help for their mental health, according to Marcela Slepica, Clinical Services Director, AccessEAP.

“This can be very detrimental and workplaces should help debunk these myths by talking about mental health and acknowledging that it is normal to have feelings of sadness or anxiety especially during these times of uncertainty,” added Slepica.

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AccessEAP acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we work on and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples using this content are advised that it may contain images, names or voices of people who have passed away


AccessEAP acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we work on and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. 
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples using this content are advised that it may contain images, names or voices of people who have passed away.