1 min read

Season 4, Episode 185

Mental health assistance comes from members trust in Teamsters Care



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Tom Vitiello, Leslie Russell and Mark Staniul

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As our coverage of Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month continues, America’s Work Force Union Podcast was joined by three leaders from the Teamsters Care program, Tom Vitiello, Leslie Russell and Mark Staniul. The trio discussed the program's work, and Vitiello shared his own journey and experience in the program.

Teamsters Care in Boston is a full-service, union-run mental health and substance abuse department for the Teamsters Local 25 Health and Welfare Fund. The team helps shop stewards, and leaders that have members within their bargaining unit get assistance. The calls the unit faces include everything from general assistance to crisis situations, Staniul said. All members of the Teamsters Care unit are licensed clinicians and work together to do what it takes to get their Brothers and Sisters the help they need.

The motto of the Teamsters Care team is to “Do the Next Right Thing.” This motto is exemplified on a daily basis by the team, ensuring their members get assistance in person or over the phone. There has been a rise in mental health problems and suicide rates stemming from the pandemic, Russell said. To help combat these rising numbers, the Care team strives to intervene and help every member who needs assistance.

Vitiello is an example of the work that Teamsters Care performs. In the early 2000s, Vitiello was struggling with mental health problems and sought help from the program. After becoming sober and working his way up with the Teamsters, in 2009, on the behest of his then Business Agent, Sean O’Brien, Vitiello joined the program and worked to get the training needed to help his co-workers. By creating education and working directly with the members, the program has developed trust with the membership that they will do the job and get members the help they require.

For more information, press play on the show above. For help from Teamsters Care, please call 1-800-851-TEAM or call 988.

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: American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Auto Workers, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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