Safety Starts with What’s Under the Hardhat
By: Taylor McPherson, Director of Communications and Community Engagement
Safety presents challenges in many shapes, forms and fashions. We often think of the exterior threats in our line of work: motorists driving through work zones, large equipment and more. Very rarely do we pause and reflect on our emotional safety – our mental health and well-being.
September was National Suicide Prevention Month, but we can use these reminders every day to stop and assess our internal gauges. The statistics (1) are both staggering and heartbreaking:
- One in four or five adults are currently experiencing a mental health condition like depression or anxiety.
- The construction industry workforce is at a risk four times higher than the rest of the population of dying by suicide.
- Over 5,000 people working in construction die by suicide each year.
This data begs the question: What makes our industry vulnerable to these risks? We pride ourselves on being tough, being able to handle whatever life throws at us. For some, it may be the long hours or the nature of the physical demands of our roles. For others, it may be a fear of speaking up due to stigmas that are in place.
For some, talking about mental health and suicide can feel awkward and uncomfortable. However, it doesn’t have to be. We hear time and time again that our team is more like a family, given the long number of hours we spend with one another each week. As family, let’s check in on how our fellow teammates are doing. We don’t have to solve their problems, but we can show our support for one another and point them in the right direction to seek help. Our family of companies has a number of resources in place for those who may be struggling, one of which is our employee and family assistance resource through Concern EAP.
This program provides employees with access to a team of licensed, experienced counselors and clinical social workers to help employees sort through issues such as stress, emotional turmoil and more. Concern EAP helps point toward viable solutions to get back on track personally and professionally.
It is also available for spouses/domestic partners, and generally dependents. CONFIDENTIAL, FREE & 24/7-365, no questions asked.
OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
Crisis Text Line (text HELP to 741741)