Solidarity Sunday: It's Okay To Talk About It
This month we celebrated "Women in Construction" week, a well-deserved highlight of an increasing number of women who have chosen to pursue a career in the skilled trades. I've seen dozens of social media posts of encouragement and applause from local unions, construction organizations, and contractors. We do a great job encouraging women to break the mold and be an inspiration to others. All great stuff that is important.
It's not lost on me that there is a subject that we rarely talk about. It's a subject that has become politically incorrect to even address, but it's the single biggest problem in the trades…the men's mental health crisis. I've spoken with several business managers and local administrations who all voice the same lament…one of their members has taken his own life. One business manager we spoke to has lost EIGHT members to suicide in the last year. That not just a problem, that's an epidemic.
I was pleased to see this video from CNN finally acknowledging the epidemic of men's health problems. It's an excellent video and I encourage you to watch. It's 10 minutes worth your time. **Pay particular attention to the part at the end about the importance of the middle class families…something the unions are uniquely qualified to address.**
When one of our members takes his own life, it takes a toll on the entire local. We drape our social media profiles with black stripes and lament their passing publicly, but it keeps on happening. And by the time we post, it's too late. We need to change the trajectory of this conversation from lamentation to prevention.
Men need to know that "it's okay to talk about it". It's okay to talk about mental health. We must have the courage to seek help. It's okay to talk to someone. They need to be heard and they need to know that someone cares.
Union Up is starting an effort to do so. In the coming months we will focus our podcasts and content on addressing men's mental health and do everything in our power to bring attention to this problem. The unions are uniquely suited to help men find a place of higher being. To belong to something greater than ourselves. To have camaraderie and a higher purpose. To build important things that make a difference in our communities. That gives people hope, and hope can bring a man to another day, and another one after that.
It's time we talk about it.
You're Organizing... but are you Nurturing?
UnionUp's "Organize 24/7" program delivers real-time leads to local union organizers every month. But even as they sign up for our information, they may not be ready to become a member, or enter our apprenticeship programs, or even pursue a job in construction yet. And the organizer is busy, he or she does not necessarily have the time to follow up on every lead. They are looking to plug people into immediate job calls. This is why we have implemented a lead nurturing program as a part of our "Organize 24/7" that stays in constant connection with prospects by sending them interesting content on a regular basis so your organizers don't have to! It allows the organizer to focus on what's important right now, while still building a bench of talent and staying in constant touch with those who are interested for the future. Let's talk about it!