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Season 4, Episode 187

BAC using an all-hands-on-deck approach to improve mental wellbeing



Guest Name:

Alexandra Jacobi

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As part of our coverage for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the America’s Work Force Union Podcast was joined by the Director of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Membership Assistance Program (MAP), Alexandra Jacobi. Jacboi discussed the different approach the MAP uses to help members, the stigma in the construction industry around mental health conversations and how it impacts progress.

A licensed mental health professional by trade, Jacobi has worked in many different environments and industries to improve the conversation around mental health. Within the last 10 years, she moved to Washington, D.C., to provide her expertise to organizations looking to help their employees. That is when she found the opportunity to join the Bricklayers and become the Union's full-time MAP director. 

To make real change, there are different approaches programs can take to help members. For the Bricklayers and Jacobi, they’ve found an all-hands-on-deck method to be the most effective. Unlike groups that outsource their program operations, the in-house program for the Bricklayers provides more leverage and the ability to make active changes to improve their program. The program's flexibility to make changes from within allows it to respond proactively to give members the help they need.

In her five years as program director, fighting against the tough-minded construction worker stigma has made progress a slow process. It’s not easy, but through active participation and promotion of the program, Jacobi is seeing improvements. With the success they’ve seen so far, there has been an improvement in support from all sides and this has helped make further progress. It’s an ongoing process and will continue for years to come with no stopping, and Jacobi is prepared to fight for improvements in the conversation around psychological wellness.

To hear more from Jacobi on the Bricklayers' work with mental health awareness, press play on the show above!

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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