The mission of the Pennsylvania State Police Member Assistance Program is to provide confidential assistance to all Department personnel (enlisted and civilian) and their families, by advocating for their mental and emotional health as part of our PSP family.
The Member Assistance Program (MAP as it’s commonly called) is a confidential, peer-based internal Employee Assistance Program. MAP is made up of a state-wide network of “Peer Contacts”, who volunteer their time to help anyone in need of assistance. Peer Contacts address issues related to stress, depression, substance abuse, family, grief, financial issues, and other challenges facing Pennsylvania State Police personnel and their families. MAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist YOU.
MAP is committed to providing you confidential assistance whenever you may need help.
Accessing the Program
Department personnel or their families may contact any active Peer Contact throughout the Commonwealth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone may contact Peer Contacts on or off duty to discuss issues of personal concern. Peer Contacts are listed in the Department roster, indicating their work, home and/or mobile numbers. If you are uncomfortable speaking to a Peer Contact in your area, you can contact any Peer Contact in the Member Assistance Program. You do not have to identify yourself when speaking to a Peer Contact.
A Peer Contact's main duty is to “Listen and Refer.” Peer Contacts understand “most people don’t want their way, they just want their say.” We have found that most people can resolve their own issues if they can use the below process of stress reduction:
* Blow off steam (Just talking about it helps to clear the air).
* Focus clearly on the problem at hand.
* Discuss and consider alternatives and consequences.
Occasionally, the process of stress reduction is not sufficient to address the root cause of a personal problem. More serious conditions such as clinical depression, alcoholism, anxiety disorder, severe marital problems, and others may require you to speak to a professional to resolve these conflicts. Peer Contacts are trained to recognize when the problem is larger than just listening to someone “blowing off steam” or a person needing to talk it out. Peer Contacts will make appropriate referrals to licensed psychologists or psychiatrists. Referrals are also made to union representatives (PSTA, AFSCME), lawyers, clergy, financial counselors, hospice, or any other resources your need may indicate.
In the early 1980’s, several members of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) recognized some Troopers were struggling with substance abuse problems (predominately alcohol) directly impacting their personal lives and job performance. In an effort to address these concerns, a research project was initiated to determine the best method of providing assistance to these individuals.
Traditional Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) for police departments were researched. The results indicated that most police departments used EAP’s outside of the agencies. Research and surveys indicated that police officers felt most comfortable talking to a person who understood their job stress, lifestyle, and personal pressures on a first-hand basis, namely their Peers.
The Member Assistance Program (MAP), the internal Employee Assistance Program for the Pennsylvania State Police, was founded in April 1986. MAP was one of the first programs of its kind to use an organized peer assistance program operated by its own personnel in the law enforcement field. At its inception, the program was staffed by one full-time employee, but quickly grew to include a small group of field Peer Contacts.
Throughout the years the program has expanded to meet the growing needs of the employees of the Department and their families. Most recently, in an effort to better serve the needs of the members, employees, and their families, a Chaplaincy Program was implemented in May 2002.
Today, the Program is comprised of seven full-time MAP personnel and approximately 80 field Peer Contacts along with 45 volunteer Chaplains. The Program currently serves approximately 17,000 persons, comprised of approximately 4,300 enlisted members, 1,500 civilian employees, along with over 11,000 family members.