The construction industry is full of inherent risks and potential dangers that workers may face throughout their careers. Many would say that fall risks, loud noises, electrocution, head trauma, and being struck by airborne objects pose the most danger to workers in the construction industry. However, these aren't the only risks that threaten their well-being.
Mental health plays a large role when it comes to assessing the overall well-being of on-site workers in the construction industry. Substance abuse, mental illness, and burnout are common in this work environment, but too often these issues go unnoticed (or are even ignored).
May is Mental Health Awareness month, which aims to raise awareness about common issues relating to mental health and attempts to reduce the stigma surrounding it. As a leader in on-site health and safety, Mobile Medical recognizes that mental health is just as important as physical health. We know how critical it is that the workers in the industries we serve have access to resources that can benefit their mental health, especially in industries like construction, where poor mental health is all too common.
How mental health impacts construction workers
Construction work is anything but easy. Long hours, grueling and laborious tasks, physical injuries, chronic pain, and high layoff rates during slow seasons are all reasons that workers in this industry struggle when it comes to mental health.
Recent statistics reveal the status of mental health in the construction industry:
- 1 in 5 construction workers struggle with mental health issues, according to one study.
- According to the CDC, the construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates, specifically among men in construction.
- 82% of construction workers reported feeling stressed at least half of the time, according to an AXA study.
- The CDC also noted that construction workers have generally high rates of drug usage.
- Men are more likely to stay silent when it comes to mental health issues, making them less likely to receive mental health treatment.
Statistics like these can be jarring, but they help increase general awareness surrounding workplace mental health as a whole, specifically in the construction industry. Providing your employees with resources that benefit their mental health can tackle these stigmas, increase awareness of mental health, and benefit their overall well-being.
Benefits of Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace
Providing your employees with resources that can positively impact their mental health is a benefit in its own right. However, there are even more reasons why you should consider making mental health a priority in your workplace.
When your employees feel healthier, their relationship with their job changes. Employees who have good mental health are more likely to enjoy what they do, be more productive while on the clock, and show up to work as scheduled (reduced absenteeism). They'll also feel more personally invested in what they do and are likely to stay with their current employer for a longer period of time.
Happier and healthier workers equate to a better workforce as a whole, which increases productivity and makes your workplace a healthier environment for your employees. But what are the practical steps employers should take to get there? One way you can begin to positively impact mental health in your workplace is through mental wellness initiatives.
Types of Mental Wellness Initiatives
Mental wellness initiatives come in many different forms, but as a whole, these initiatives help raise awareness of mental health in your workplace and lay the foundations for work-based programs that benefit your employees. These can come in the form of support groups, workshops, classes, and more.
Check out some examples of mental wellness initiatives:
- Mental health first aid classes.
- Counseling and peer support groups.
- On-site licensed therapist (Mobile Medical now offers this as a part of our first aid stations!)
- Monthly mental health wellness workshops.
- And more…
Implementing these types of programs and employee well being initiatives can show your employees that you care for them. They also provide your employees with resources that will benefit them on the job and in their personal lives. If you've been noticing that your employees have been struggling with things like work attendance, burnout, exhaustion, work-life balance, and emotional well-being, you should consider investing in a mental wellness initiative.
Mobile Medical is Mental Health-Focused
Mobile Medical is committed to the mental well-being of on-site workers. We are dedicated to providing services that will positively impact on-site workers and workplace environments, creating spaces that are healthy and more productive. These initiatives increase both the physical and mental well-being of employees, taking a holistic approach to what it means to have a healthy workplace.
For more information about mental health in the workplace, view our mental health resources for those in the construction industry, visit the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention website for help with suicide prevention in construction, or reach out to Mobile Medical today.