1 min read

Season 4, Episode 181

Providing SMART members the tools to improve their mental health



Guest Name:

Chris Carlough

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

Chris Carlough, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) MAP Program Coordinator with the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the award-winning work being done to provide mental health support for members. 

Carlough wanted to create his own path and find his own career without following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. But no matter how hard he tried, he inevitably found himself in his family’s footsteps of taking a national role within his union. Currently, he serves as the head of the SMART Members Assistance Program and strives to improve the discussion around mental health for members. Carlough described his first-hand experience with addiction and mental health problems and believes this experience has led to fighting for members harder than anyone would.

The SMART MAP began as a way to assist members through crisis. Carlough and his team began by creating a training program for leaders and developed a way to provide resources to their members. The pandemic was a struggle initially, but through trial and error, they were able to not only improve the program but extend its reach. More people were willing to discuss their mental health issues and sought out help during the pandemic, but there is still more work to be done to give all Sheet Metal workers the tools they need to improve their mental health, Carlough said.

Peer-led mentoring has proven to be the most impactful route to assist members. Initially, there was a lot of good work being done with the old format, but there were gaps in the reporting and assistance for members as they didn’t feel comfortable speaking with their bosses and leaders. Now SMART is training as many members as possible to provide the help and assistance needed to treat an issue. Not only is this part of the program focused on seeking help, but also on how to adapt back to everyday life following treatments, and this is what has set SMART MAP apart from other programs, Carlough said.

For more information on SMART MAP, please listen to 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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