Hard Hats, Not Hard Heads

Amy Morin has a piece in Forbes explaining how the construction industry—to the surprise of many—is becoming a leader in promoting mental health awareness. “They’re doing some incredible work to reduce the stigma attached to mental health and they’re saving lives,” Morin says, encouraging other industries to follow suit.


Morin’s article cites “Industry Blueprint: Suicide Prevention in the Workplace.” It’s an excellent manual discussing industry risk factors, warning signs, and recommendations. The manual was sponsored by Denver contracting firm RK and produced by The Carson J Spencer Foundation in partnership with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

Morin, a psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, lists some recommendations of her own:

What You Can Do In Your Organization

—Don’t assume mental health problems aren’t an issue in your organization. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates one in four adults experiences a mental illness. Here’s what you can do in your organization:

—Start a conversation about mental health. Talk about issues like stress management in your meetings. Be willing to mention the importance of self-care and living a healthy lifestyle. Your employee’s emotional state has a big impact on their productivity and overall life satisfaction.

—Help employees detect mental health problems early. Many mental health problems go undetected, which causes people to suffer in silence. Encourage employees to access free online screening tools and provide in-service trainings with mental health professionals. Statistics show most people will seek treatment once they recognize they may have a problem.

—Support employee’s efforts to get help. Ensure an employee can get to therapy once a week during work hours and provide the workforce with an employee assistance program. With treatment, 65% to 80% of individuals with mental illness see improvements, so make sure you support people’s efforts to get the help they need.