Mental Health Safety Tips

May is Mental Health Month Awareness Month. Mental health is important for everyone. This is especially true for construction workers. The long hours, strenuous labor, potential for injuries, and seasonal layoffs are significant sources of stress.

Construction workers struggling with mental health concerns are more susceptible to on-the-job accidents than workers without these issues. As a construction worker, you need to pay attention to your mental health and take steps to improve it when needed.

Implement these tips to maintain your mental health while working in construction.

Talk with Your Manager About Job Stressors 

Think about which parts of your job cause the most stress. Find potential resolutions to these issues. Talk with your manager about your problems and potential solutions.

For instance, you may feel unsure about what your role is for a project. If so, you can ask your manager what your role is, what their expectations are, and who you should take onsite directions from.

You can use this discussion to create a basis for ongoing communication with your manager. Regular discussion of your concerns helps get your needs met. This can decrease your stress and increase your mental health.

Normalize Discussion of Mental Health Concerns 

Encourage your manager to regularly engage your team in open discussions about mental health concerns. This may involve your manager and you sharing your experiences with mental health concerns and how you handled them. Perhaps you implemented daily meditation, began eating healthier foods, or started weekly counseling sessions.

Ask your manager to host seminars with diverse guest speakers talking about mental health. They can serve as role models for your team members to relate to and potentially get help with their struggles.

Encourage your manager to hand out information on local and national resources to help with mental health. This may include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The national helpline provides referral routing services for individuals and families with mental health concerns and substance use disorders. Construction workers who do not want to talk about their mental health concerns may feel more comfortable getting help outside the workplace.

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