1 min read

Season 5, Episode 105

The listeners have spoken. A replay of Dr. Sally on Mental Health



Guest Name:

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

At the request of our listeners, America’s Work Force Union Podcast brought back the interview with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas from May 1, which began our Mental Health Awareness Month Coverage this year. In the episode, Dr. Sally discussed the state of mental health awareness in America and how unions can provide care and access to mental health, including the Man Therapy program.

During the conversation, Dr. Sally discussed how stress and culture on jobsites impact workers in the trades. It’s not just a generational thing, as workers, young and old, are pushing for better mental health care, she added. One in every five workers suffers from mental health issues, and the rate worsens for those in the building trades. Now is the time to take action to improve the care that union members receive and help reverse the negative life expectancy trend in the United States.

Death by suicide for union construction members is currently happening at a rate three to four times higher than in the general population, Dr. Sally said. To improve the culture around mental health, unions need to adopt the same strategy they have for improving workplace safety. These improvements start with better education for union members and leaders and ensuring there is a simple and safe way to seek helpful resources. To assist with these efforts, Dr. Sally has created programs for unions that focus on small daily conversations, like toolbox talks, to get the proper messaging to members.

There are always challenges when trying to engage with members around mental health, especially with men in the trades. Dr. Sally discussed Man Therapy, and Dr. Rich Mahogany, a unique approach that targets men seeking mental health assistance using a humorous approach to better educate. Dr. Mahogany, a made-up therapist, is a comedic approach to teaching men about the importance of self-awareness and how to perform a personal wellness check before seeking a therapist. Dr. Sally said this program has proven to be one of the most effective methods through their blind research and polling, and unions have adapted this program to fit their members’ needs.

Listen to the show above to hear more from Dr. Sally’s Mental Health Awareness interview. To learn more, please visit her website, SallySpencerThomas.com.

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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