Accessing the Member Assistance 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 pager 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.
If you have any questions about accessing a Peer Contact, call MAP at our toll-free number (1-877-709-7674).