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Union safety and health programs and services

We all experience challenges in our personal and professional lives from time to time. While people often handle these on their own, some issues can be difficult to manage without a helping hand.

Art therapy support group

Calling all new members who want to have a fun and unique experience! Join the UFT Member Assistance Program for our first art therapy group. No artistic talent is required, just an openness to explore and participate in a group setting with your colleagues.

Be BRAVE Against Bullying

The UFT’s BRAVE Campaign provides tools, knowledge and support for UFT members so they can be more proactive in confronting and stopping bullying. For information and resources for your classroom, visit us on the web. BRAVE also hosts a confidential hotline for students, Monday through Friday, 2:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Call 212-709-3222 or text BRAVE to 43961.

Classroom Cafe podcast

Download & listen to the new Classroom Cafe Podcast! The UFT Member Assistance Program is excited to bring you this series of well-being podcasts on topics such as Making Classrooms Happy Places, 10 Ways to Eat Healthier with Limited Time, Time Management: Getting It All Done, Mindfulness and Compassion and Creating Safe, Welcoming and Inclusive Schools for ALL of Our Students, Families and Staff. Subscribe to us on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and SoundCloud!

Classroom management classes

The union offers many workshops on classroom management, on teaching students self-discipline and on instructional techniques that engage students so they do not start misbehaving out of restlessness. Check the New York Teacher newspaper for upcoming sessions.

DASA workshops

The UFT offers DASA workshops that meet the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) training requirement of the state Education Department for state certification. This six-hour workshop gives participants an understanding of the dynamics of assaultive, aggressive behavior and the tools to defuse violent situations at school. For more information, call 212-701-9413.

Families Weathering the Storm

The UFT Member Assistance Program offers a new free support group for families struggling with mental illness or addiction. Your union is here to help you and your family members affected by mental illness and/or addiction build better lives through education, support and advocacy. You’ll share coping strategies and practical information. All support groups are led by a trained mental health professional and are held in a safe and confidential space.

Member Assistance Program

The Member Assistance Program (MAP) has trained professional counselors who guide you through the problems that can put your health and job in jeopardy. Our services are confidential, professional and supportive.

The MAP program provides short-term counseling to in-service UFT members by professionally trained mental health staff as well as referrals to outside resources including:

  • Short-term counseling in the MAP office;
  • Peer support group for bereavement;
  • Assistance for victims of domestic violence;
  • Connection to community support groups to fit your needs;
  • Referrals to appropriate substance abuse, eating disorders and mental health service programs;
  • Referrals for trauma, bereavement and loss;
  • Referrals for legal and financial counseling services.

The MAP phone number is 212-701-9620 and the email address is mapinfo@uft.org. Our normal hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Friday (summer hours are 9 a.m.–5:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday). Please note that sessions are by appointment only; no walk-ins. MAP services are provided at no cost to members.

New teacher support groups

These sessions provide new members with general union information and concrete educational support. Learn about welfare fund health benefits, pension plans and TDA, end-ofterm procedures, and essentials about licensing, tenure and certification. Educational sessions concentrate on student engagement, professional collaboration and classroom management. The UFT Teacher Center provides CTLE credits for some educational sessions.

These sessions provide an opportunity to help one another get through the nuances of a school year. Participants can discuss stressors and challenges and strategize ideas. The MAP program helps them develop support systems and learn how to engage and navigate through the many mental health resources provided inside and outside the union. These groups are open to all new teachers (1-3 years).

They are held at central headquarters and in each borough office.

Partners Through Experience 

This is a voluntary program that matches a new teacher (1–3 years of experience) with a recent retiree (from 1–5 years) to form a collaborative relationship. For new teachers, it’s a great way to receive support and guidance when starting out in the profession and addresses your own questions and concerns. For retirees, it’s a great way to stay active in the life of the union and share valuable experience with new teachers. For more information, contact mapinfo@uft.org or register online.

Peer Intervention Program

Are you a tenured teacher or guidance counselor who is struggling with pedagogical and professional issues? Are you ready to take responsibility for achieving high standards and becoming more effective? Get confidential one-on-one help from highly experienced, specially selected colleagues who will create individualized professional development plans with you to emphasize your strengths and improve your shortcomings. With the Peer Intervention Program (PIP), you can take charge of your own professional standards, address instructional issues and turn your career around. Call PIP at 212-844-0600 or send an email to pip@uft.org.

Positive Learning Collaborative

The UFT’s Positive Learning Collaborative (PLC) supports schools in creating a positive learning environment. Through intensive training and direct consultation with school staffs, the PLC program equips educators with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to safely and effectively anticipate behavior challenges in their schools so they can prevent crises and, ultimately, help students focus on academic goals. For more information, call (212) 701-9499 or email PLC@uft.org.

Victim Support Program

The UFT’s Victim Support Program provides members who are injured on the job with one-on-one advice, counseling and assistance with police, the judicial system and the city Department of Education’s (DOE) medical division. The program offers victim outreach, psychological counseling and crisis intervention. All services are free and completely confidential. For more information, call 212-598-6853.

Violence Prevention Program

A state Education Department-mandated program, the UFT’s Violence Prevention Program works with individuals and schools to improve safety. Two-hour workshops will show you how to identify the warning signs of danger to yourself and your students and teach you ways to defuse volatile situations before they reach the point of no return. For more information, call 212-701-9413.