The BAC Member Assistance Program (MAP) is a free, confidential, telephone, crisis intervention and referral program for members of the BAC and their families. Similar to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), MAP provides help for a variety of issues, including:
Active and retired union members, and their family members throughout the United State and Canada, are eligible to receive MAP services at no cost. Members call toll-free (1-888-880-8222) to speak to MAP’s licensed mental health professional for confidential assistance, information and referral. The MAP professional first listens, and then helps members to decide which options best fit their needs. Referrals are tailored to each member’s individual needs based upon his or her unique situation. The MAP professional is a licensed, Ph.D., mental health professional who has the expertise to fully assist members to find solutions to personal problems.
MAP generally is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Members call the main toll-free number for the BAC (1-888-880-8222), and then just ask for MAP. If the live operator is unavailable, members can press “O” to leave a private, confidential message for a return phone call from the MAP professional. Messages received after 8 p.m. EST and on weekends are generally returned the next business day. While the MAP professional answers many calls immediately, it may be necessary to leave a message if the MAP professional is currently assisting another member. Every effort will be made to return your call promptly. Please be sure to leave your phone number including area code.
All calls to MAP are kept strictly confidential. It is important to remember that federal law protects your privacy. This means that the MAP professional will not discuss your call with job supervisors, local union leaders or anyone else, unless you desire it and give your permission. If you request that MAP send you educational pamphlets, brochures or referral information in writing, MAP will mark all documents “confidential.”
MAP’s goal is to locate therapy resources that best fit your needs. Many members request referrals to evening and weekend therapy programs so that seeking help does not interfere with their job.
Many local unions request that members who have tested positive for alcohol or drugs contact their union MAP. The MAP professional assists members to resolve the positive drug screen quickly. If professional treatment is recommended, MAP often assists members to locate evening programs so that the member is able to return to work as quickly as possible. With permission, the MAP professional can also provide the member’s employer with positive feedback that the member is doing well and ready to return to work. Again, MAP does not discuss member problems with anyone without permission. If requested, MAP can provide updates about compliance to job supervisors, but does not discuss private information, such as what types of drugs the member tested positive for, history of drug abuse, and so forth – this information is kept private.
MAP is expert at locating quality, affordable mental health and addictions counseling. MAP connects members with licensed mental health and addictions professionals who offer low cost or no cost counseling services. Many of these counseling agencies receive county, state, and charitable funding to offset the cost of counseling for hard working families who cannot otherwise afford treatment. MAP also helps uninsured children and teens to receive free health and mental health coverage through state-funded programs. Adults are helped to connect to affordable or pro-bono care in their community. MAP can also provide members with a referral letter to assist members in applying for affordable care.
MAP carefully screens all therapy referrals to insure that you connect with a quality therapist. MAP verifies the following information to locate the best possible therapy match:
Psychiatrists hold medical degrees and are physicians who also have specialized education, experience and training in mental health. They are experts at prescribing medication for anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. While some psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy or “talk therapy,” many simply prescribe and monitor clients’ medication needs.
Psychologists have a doctorate degree, such as a Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. in psychology or another mental health field. Psychologists have specialized training in human behavioral theories and research. They often administer psychological tests to help clarify a client’s diagnosis. Psychologists also provide psychotherapy to individuals and small groups.
Social Workers hold a master’s degree in social work (MSW). Many social workers are also psychotherapists who provide individual and small group therapies. Social workers are adept at helping clients connect with social support systems and community resources to help meet basic needs. Social workers are employed in mental health clinics, welfare agencies, schools, hospitals and a variety of other agency settings.
Counselors may hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in mental health or addictions counseling, nursing, or guidance. Counselors, including Certified Addictions counselors (CAC) often treat specific problems, such as alcohol and drug abuse.
It takes courage to seek help for personal problems. Putting off the help you need not only wastes valuable time, but also allows problems to get worse and worse. Remember, the sooner you seek help, the sooner you will be feeling better and get your life back under control. Taking good care of yourself is also a way of taking care of your family and loved ones, who may become worried and stressed about your health. And, children whose parents take care of themselves are also more likely to better manage their health as adults, because they are not afraid to admit problems and to seek help.