Addressing mental health in construction: 4 steps to build a supportive workplace

Amy Chouvin imageAmy Chouvin  •  

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Because of its nature, the construction industry has a high concern around safety to avoid work-related hazards and injuries such as falls, struck-bys, and electrocution. But one health risk has been often overlooked: the alarming rate of poor mental health among construction workers.

The suicide rate in construction is significantly higher than the national average, with factors like long hours, demanding schedules, and a culture of stoicism contributing to the issue.

The consequences of neglecting mental health are huge. It not only impacts individuals but also affects productivity, safety, and the overall well-being of the workforce.

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to address this problem and prioritize mental health and wellbeing. Here are some key takeaways to cultivate a supportive workplace environment:

  • Breaking the stigma: Openly discussing mental health is crucial to normalize seeking help and reducing the shame often associated with it.

  • Promoting wellbeing: Employers can implement initiatives like stress management training, flexible work arrangements, and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to support their workforce.

  • Training and support: Equipping managers and colleagues with mental health first aid skills allows them to recognize signs of distress and provide initial support.

  • Culture shift: Fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and open communication is essential for creating a safe space for workers to express their struggles.

By prioritizing mental health and wellbeing in the construction industry, we can create a safer, healthier, and more productive work environment for everyone involved.

Let's work together to ensure that the men and women who build our world are also supported in building their own mental well-being.

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