Ielmini applauds Insulators' commitment to mental health

Pete Ielmini, Executive Director of the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT), made his monthly appearance on the America's Work Force Union Podcast and lauded the effort of the Insulators Union to provide mental health services to its members.

The Insulators Commitment to Mental Health

On the Feb. 22 podcast, Ielmini told AWF host Ed "Flash" Ferenc about the initiatives being taken by the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (IAHFIAW) to help affiliated members and their families who are struggling with mental health, substance abuse or suicidal thoughts. 

The Insulators Union is working to remove the negative stigma associated with speaking about mental health and substance abuse-related issues. It is OK to discuss those issues on the jobsite, among friends or during morning toolbox talks to make them less taboo, he said.

Suicide: The leading cause of death for construction workers

Ielmini first took notice of mental health, suicide and substance abuse issues when he heard the sobering statistic that suicide kills five times more construction workers than jobsite accidents. Sadly, suicide is the leading cause of death for building trades members.

He feels mental health needs should be brought to the attention of the various International building trades unions and their signatory contractors who employ our union Brothers and Sisters. Ielmini stressed that workers need to know that it is OK to ask for help, whether on or off the job. 

Insulators Members Assistant Program

He applauded the investment being made by the Insulators Union under the leadership of newly elected General President Terrence M. Larkin and the General Executive Board. The International will soon offer a Member Assistance Program, which he sees as an investment in their members and their families.

This new program will provide completely confidential support regarding mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention. It is a joint venture with two companies, Youturn and Perspectives, which will provide immediate and ongoing support.

Immediate care will be provided by Youturn, who will help individuals in immediate crisis. Once the immediate issue is addressed, the individual will then receive ongoing care and support from Perspectives. 

Ielmini believes the mental well-being of the Brothers and Sisters of the IAHFIAW matters and is grateful General President Larkin and the General Executive Board will soon implement these new programs to help their Brothers and Sisters in need. 

Federal Mechanical Insulation Act Update

He also provided an update on the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act, which will soon be introduced into the 118th Congress by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.). The LMCT is working to find a Republican co-sponsor and hopes to have one aboard before the end of March.

Listen to the interview: 

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