IUPAT Helping Hand continues to offer growing resources for IUPAT members and families seeking help for substance use and mental health challenges on www.IUPAThelpinghand.com. The initiative also recently launched its corps of IUPAT Helping Hand Champions in each district council to add a voice to our guidance in seeking assistance.
Now, in 2022, IUPAT Helping Hand is launching its Peer Support Services. This latest initiative focuses on the recognition and first response steps for assisting members in matters of mental health issues, substance use, and suicide prevention with a human connection. Peer Supporters will provide resources and emotional support to members who are seeking assistance for themselves, or as a caregiver, to a family member or friend.
Those who wish to join the ranks of Peer Supporters will participate in a two-and-a-half-day education and training workshop developed by a committee over the past 6 months. The first class will be held in Hanover at the end of March. A second course will be offered during the summer.
In this course, among other subjects, students learn about tools for communication, Employee Assistant Programs, and understanding addiction, treatment and relapse prevention.
The iFTI and IUPAT thank committee members for their time and dedication to building this program – Chris Brennan and Jim McCann of District Council 35 (Boston), Bob Swanson, retired IUPAT contractor and a founding voice and consultant on IUPAT Helping Hand, and Luke DeBoy, clinical social work/therapist with Recovery Collective.