NAHB has launched a new effort focused on mental wellbeing in the construction industry with an emphasis on helping association members support healthy work environments and be more proactive in looking at their own health and wellness.
Construction workers are particularly susceptible to mental health issues and suicide. More construction workers die by suicide each day than all workplace-related fatalities combined, with a rate of 43.5 suicides per 100,000 workers, second only to the mining and oil/gas extraction industry. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues across the country.
Recent research suggests that industry associations have been overlooked as an agent for change, and that they have a role in promoting the importance of worker health and well-being to their member organizations. Accordingly, NAHB is looking to change the culture in the construction industry around mental health awareness by providing resources specifically tailored to construction workers, managers, developers and business owners.
At the NAHB 2020 Spring Leadership Meetings, Cal Beyer, Vice President of Workforce Risk & Worker Wellbeing at construction risk management firm CSDZ, spoke to members of the NAHB committees spearheading the mental wellbeing initiative. During his presentation, “Focus on Workforce Wellbeing: What’s Under the Hardhat,” Beyer described some risk factors that may explain why construction workers are more prone to mental health issues and suicide and provided free resources for NAHB members:
- The Invisible Construction Crisis: Why Focus on Construction Workforce Risk?
- Mental Health Resources for Employers
- Toolbox Talk on Self-Care During the Pandemic
- Suicide Prevention Resources
NAHB has also joined the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) in an effort to raise awareness of the prevalence of suicide in the construction industry. More information on the efforts of the Alliance and NAHB’s member mental wellbeing initiative will be forthcoming.