May 20th, 2021, 9:23 AM
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There are many different factors that are considered when looking at the impact the construction industry has on mental health. As with any job, there are physical and emotional stresses that can cause strain on mental well-being.

Some of the factors impacting mental health in the construction industry include:

  • Physical exhaustion due to hard labor
  • Long working hours
  • Physical injuries and chronic pain
  • A competitive, male-dominated work culture
  • Increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Seasonal layoffs
 
Construction workers face the underlying social stigma that they are supposed to be tough, strong and rarely show emotions. It's no wonder why people refer to this problem as "the silent epidemic." This has a negative impact on the construction workforce because workers may not have access to the necessary tools and programs to support their physical and mental illnesses, forcing them to battle their struggles in silence. This ultimately can lead to more serious mental health concerns, such as suicide, which has been a grim problem within the industry.

How to Confront the Mental Health Crisis in Construction
Many construction companies are making changes in their policies and raising awareness to put an end to the mental health crisis in the construction industry. Here are different strategies to help combat this crisis:
  • Create a Safe Space for Employees
    • Start conversations in team meetings and create a healthy, supportive environment.
  • Provide Your Team Support and Access to Treatment
    • Include counseling services in your benefits packages and add mental health days or flexible hours for employees to take time off to seek help.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Team
    • Provide education and raise awareness – proper education on the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses is the first step towards decreasing the stigma around mental health.
    • Workers need to be aware of the symptoms associated with mental illnesses so they can recognize them in themselves or coworkers and seek help.
  • Offer Mental Health First-Aid Training
    • Providing training for managers and employees will help them understand the signs so they can offer help should a crisis arise.
  • Know the Warning Signs
    • Decrease in productivity
    • Tardiness
    • Increase in conflict with other team members
    • Isolation from coworkers

 
With more companies continuing to raise awareness, mental health in the construction industry is slowly starting to lose its stigma. The industry has a responsibility to protect the lives of industry workers and help keep them safe. 

Learn more about the mental health and wellness programs MMC can assist with on-site. 

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