1 min read

Season 5, Episode 88

Helping workers in Cleveland access mental health care with the ULA

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Guest Name:


Dave Megenhardt

Guest Website:


ulagency.org 

Guest Social Media:


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Supportive Documents:


Dave Megenhardt, Executive Director of the United Labor Agency (ULA), joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the ULA Counseling Center, improving access to mental health care and a shortage of mental health counselors.

Megenhardt started his conversation by providing an update on the ULA Counseling Center operated by previous guest, Alicia Boreman. The purpose of the counseling center is to assist workers in accessing proper mental health care, which they realized was lacking in the workers seeking the ULA’s help. The center has begun working with workers in the Cleveland area, including union members, students and those seeking a new career path. Megenhardt said that with the growing number of workers using the center, they have begun looking for more staff and counselors.

Nearly 20 percent of adult Americans will experience a mental health problem this year, Megenhardt said. Of those, only half will get assistance for their issues. Going beyond that, access is even more difficult for those suffering from mental health problems, with nearly 122 million Americans living in areas with no access to counseling, he said. By starting this type of service, the ULA is also looking to work with local universities to help develop more counselors through internships and employment programs with the center.

Finally, Megenhardt talked about the issues surrounding the shortage of mental health counselors. He said that the stress of the job, from large caseloads to a lack of job security, contributes to hesitation for a future therapist to enter the industry. There will need to be more counselors to create a fundamental change in the future of mental health support for workers. Groups in the mental health field should begin to work with universities to develop a pipeline for new counselors, Megenhardt said.

Hear more from Megenhardt on how the ULA is working to help workers access mental health care in 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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