Our hearts go out to our Union brothers and sisters who have been affected by the recent wildfires, and we wanted to share several resources that are available to them.
Optum is offering a free emotional support help line for all people impacted. This help line will provide those affected access to specially trained mental health specialists. The company’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.
Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at www.liveandworkwell.com. View the Important Communications alert on liveandworkwell.com near the bottom of the member home page for local resources.
You can find the following resource centers by using a keyword search on liveandworkwell.com
· Disaster Planning & Recovery Center: Type the keyword “disaster” into the search bar, select the Disaster Planning & Recovery Center. Here you’ll find information on preparing for and recovering from natural disasters and links to national organizations too.
· Coping Center: Type the keyword “coping” into the search bar, select Coping. Here you’ll find articles, guides, self-help tools and videos on coping with stress.
Optum covered members (EAP and behavioral health customers) continue to have their ongoing resources including Critical Incident Response Services (CIRS). We recommend they access through their account-specific support numbers. Emotional-support resources and information are also available online at www.liveandworkwell.com.
Members of the film and television community in Southern California affected by the wildfires can contact MPTF at (323) 634-3888 for assistance.
If you are a union member who participates in certain Union Plus programs and have been affected, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant program. The Union Plus Disaster Relief Fund has provided nearly $1 million in assistance to union members facing hardship following floods, wildfires and other natural disasters. Head to the Union Plus Disaster Relief Fund page to learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.
Financial relief is available for IATSE members affected by the fire through the Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation. IATSE members in need of assistance should submit a written request to Local 839. Local unions will then forward any requests to the Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation for review by the Foundation’s trustees. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We also encourage IATSE members who are not directly affected by the fire to donate to the Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation. Money from the Foundation helps pay for shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities to help our affected IATSE sisters and brothers get through this difficult time.
Checks should be made payable to the “Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation” and mailed to:
The Walsh/Di Tolla/Spivak Foundation c/o IATSE
207 W. 25th St., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10001
The Actors Fund provides information for disaster relief on their website.