In these tough times, there's help with mental health, substance abuse

Click here to download a printable PDF fact sheet on emergency EAP services. 

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

In these tough times, many people may be struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse issues. We know the stress of having to work in the midst of a pandemic or suddenly being forced out of work can take its toll.

Many of our union contracts have bargained Employee Assistance Programs with their employers. These vary by workplace so check with your employer or local union for specifics.

The EAP Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a Disaster Distress Hotline that can be reached at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.  More information can be found at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline.  

PsychHub - COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub 

PyschHub has created a free digital hub for individuals, healthcare professionals, educational institutions, veterans, mental health providers, community supporters and employers to cope with the stress resulting from COVID-19. This hub brings together a variety of resources to help those in need cope with social isolation, job loss and mental health issues.

Aunt Bertha – The Social Care Network 

Aunt Bertha’s network connects people seeking help and verified social care providers that serve them.  Since navigating the system to get help is difficult, time consuming and frustrating, Aunt Bertha created a social care network that connects people and programs – making it easier for people to find social services in their communities, for nonprofits to coordinate their efforts, and for customers to integrate social care into the work they already do. 

The Aunt Bertha website, www.authbertha.com, allows people to search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training and more.  You just need to enter your zip code and select the type of service you are looking for.

USW Emergency Response Team 

The USW has a special team called Emergency Response Team, or ERT, devoted to helping with workplace emergencies and other life-altering events. Typically, emergencies that cost a life or result in life-altering injuries are reported to an ERT hotline, 866-526-3480, by a local union president or staff representative. The hotline is available 24 hours a day.

The team essentially acts a bridge between the company and the family of the injured or deceased worker. Typically, ERT members press the employer for help with immediate family needs and with funeral costs if they are not included in the contract.

If legal assistance is requested by the family, the ERT will help with referrals. Team members often make follow up visits months later to check up on family members and to offer co-workers counseling and work shops on grief and coping skills.

Sample Emergency Response Team functions:

  • Serve as victim advocates
  • Coordinate support for victims and families
  • Act as liaison between families and the employer and families and the local union
  • Help victims and families secure legal representation if necessary
  • Provide referrals to local therapists who understand the needs of organized labor and of those dealing with loss and trauma

Click here for tips from ERT on dealing with trauma and stress. 

Fill out this confidential form if you'd like a member of our ERT team to reach out to connect you with resources to help fight addiction.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222