An Elephant in Every Construction Company Board Room: Mental Health Issues
Posted on October 28, 2019
Around 20% of Americans have some type of mental health issue and so it is no surprise that these issues exist in the construction industry as well. Whether you’re a disbursement company or a private equity company, a mortgage company or a bank, you can count on the fact that people within your company suffer from mental illness. Ensuring they have the resources to do something about it is more than compassionate – it can help increase your bottom line. Keep reading to learn more.
Attitude is a Huge Issue in Certain Industries
In some circles, it is still frowned upon to discuss mental health issues. Construction companies are often this way. It is because there is often a societal idea that people with mental health issues are weaker than others. This is false, and the first step in encouraging people within this industry to get the help they need is to destigmatize these very real and very treatable health issues.
Is This Really an Issue in the Construction Industry?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it most certainly is. They studied 17 states and discovered that extraction and construction occupational groups had the highest male suicide rates in both 2012 and 2015. The men most likely to commit suicide according to this study are men in high skill and high-risk groups, such as site managers. They are 1.5 more likely to die from suicide than the average person.
On the other hand, those with low-ranking jobs and with little education also have a higher than average risk for mental health issues and harming themselves. The construction industry, in general, is full of people working long hours and often to the point of exhaustion – many of which on seasonal schedules – which can lead to mental health issues.
Increase Safety Measures That Can Be Taken in the Construction Industry
Employers should look for finding ways to improve safety within the construction field. It is true that many people in this industry are taking steps to improve physical safety but there should be steps taken for mental health too. Consider that 85% of people who suffer from chronic pain also have severe depression. For this reason, simply making job sites physically safer can go a long way.
Another thing that needs to be done is for there to be open communication about mental health. Foreman and others in positions of authority should talk to their workers to assure said workers know about the available mental health resources. Doing so can improve productivity, morale, and could save a life.
At Fund Control we want every construction project to be a success and have created a unique fund control software that we believe makes it easier for you to keep your project on track. Contact us at 800-625-5972 if you are interested in a free demo.