The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT) Helpline has a new counselor ready to take calls from members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers and their families. Jeremy Holburn holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health licensure and is a licensed professional counselor based out of Denver. He will address members’ calls any time of the day or night, coordinate care and refer callers to the best local resources to proactively address their needs.
“No one asks for help on a good day in their life. There’s never a bad time to call, though,” Holburn said. “Asking for help is difficult, but if you make the call, you’ve already started the process for making things better.”
While a single phone call is not likely to immediately solve complex problems, taking that one step is making a choice to turn things around. Having a compassionate, knowledgeable person help guide members through the first steps can make a big difference.
“The hard truth is that making the first call is rarely the complete solution,” he added. “But you don’t have to do it on your own.”
The Helpline was created in 2017, a year when several natural disasters and large-scale tragedies negatively impacted SMART members across the country. Originally intended as a temporary service, the Helpline proved useful on a continual basis for members, so SMOHIT’s trustees voted to keep it in place. It is a no-judgment zone, aiming to provide some initial relief over the phone as well as referral to local services.
Members and their families call for many things — grief or loss, family issues, suicide ideation, substance use disorder, concerns about unemployment, depression, financial issues and bankruptcy and general anxiety and stress, among others. Holburn also can steer members in the right direction when helping struggling family members.
With the pandemic still creating disruptions and ongoing personal hardship, many practicing therapists are overwhelmed with calls, so the Helpline may fill a gap and help callers get connected with the right support.
“Life’s not great right now for a lot of people,” Holburn said. “Making a call will get people closer to healthy change.”
To speak to Holburn, call 877-884-6227. He is available free of charge to SMART members and their families any time of the day or night, 365 days a year. As a licensed professional therapist in Colorado, Holburn can provide therapy services to Colorado residents, and he will connect those outside Colorado to therapists or services in their areas. No matter where a member calls from, he will continue to lend an ear until they can connect with the care they need.