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Musicians' Assistance Program

Volume 111, No. 4April, 2011

Cindy Green, LCSW

The musicians’ assistance program at Local 802 has been a resource for decades, yet we still meet members who come for services and say, “I didn’t know this was here for me!”

In a nusthell, we help members who are facing challenges. This month, we will take a look at all of the services offered by us.

The MAP office is staffed by three staff people. I am a New York State licensed clinical social worker. I work individually with Local 802 members and I coordinate all program services.

Each year I have a graduate student from a local university, who is working toward a master’s degree in social work. The interns take on their own caseload, closely supervised by me.

We also have Dorothy Gibson, our administrative assistant, who has been a loyal union employee for many years.

We always treat members with compassion and respect and we are here to help answer your questions.

The MAP office began with a grant from New York City’s Office of Addiction and Substance Abuse Service, so our initial services were focused on issues of chemical dependency. We still offer plenty of help with these challenges. Members who are using drugs or alcohol and want to stop should feel free to contact the MAP office. We can talk about your fears about use and recovery. We can also recommend treatment programs, both inpatient and outpatient, and our staff will be there for support throughout your journey of exploration and recovery. We speak to insurance companies and treatment providers to ensure that you are taking full advantage of your resources and that you have the proper support you need to reach your goals.

Since its inception, the social work team of the MAP office has grown to provide many more services, including the Emergency Relief Fund. Through this fund, members who qualify receive small financial assistance grants during times of crisis. Members who are interested in accessing this engage in a thorough application process with a MAP staff person. Grants can be provided for portions of rent, electricity bills, health insurance or even therapy if eligibility criteria are met. Eligibility is evaluated on a case by case basis.

Many Local 802 members have reached retirement age. The MAP social workers frequently evaluate seniors who may need support services, connecting elderly members with home care or alternative living situations. MAP social workers make referrals to elder care attorneys and Medicare experts as well as to appropriate social services to enhance the quality of their lives and avoid isolation. To accomplish these goals, we work with the member’s entire support system, including family and friends, to ensure a safe and fulfilling life.

Members who are disabled or suffering from illness or injury can come to the MAP office to explore their options including worker’s compensation or disability. We work with doctors and other service providers to create a plan that allows members to effectively manage their lives.

Given the unpredictable nature of the music business, the MAP office is frequently called upon to provide short-term emotional and moral support for its members. Anyone looking to address more chronic psychological needs will generally benefit from ongoing psychotherapy. The MAP office has a comprehensive network of trusted therapists and organizations that provide low fee counseling.

All services provided by our office are strictly confidential and there is no cost to members or their families. To find out more, call us at (212) 397-4802 or e-mail

One final note. All Local 802 members are also eligible for services provided by the social workers of the Actors Fund. These include support groups and seminars, which often address a range of issues including financial wellness, depression and anxiety, employment challenges and disabilities.

The office of the Musicians’ Assistance Program is your one-stop shop for musicians’ health. We offer counseling – both one-on-one and in groups – as well as information on all kinds of social services, including health insurance, food stamps and more. All services are free to Local 802 members. Contact us at or (212) 397-4802.