NAHB Second Vice Chairman Jerry Konter recently spoke to members about NAHB's commitment to addressing the critical issue of mental health and suicide prevention in our industry, noting that "Industry associations like ours have a role to play in promoting the importance of worker health and wellbeing to our members."
During the Fall Leadership Meetings, Konter shared a video of an interview conducted by Juli Bacon, Chair of NAHB's Construction Safety and Health Committee, with Sally Spencer-Thomas, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist, and author of We Can’t Fix Mental Health with Duct Tape: A New Frontier in Safety
(Safety Decisions Magazine
| Spring/Summer 2019), who has spoken and written extensively on issues of mental health and suicide prevention.
Among other things, Bacon discussed with Spencer-Thomas, why mental health and suicide have only recently been considered construction safety priorities; why those working in construction are at risk for mental health issues and how this impacts job site safety; what factors contribute to the construction industry having a higher rate of suicide risk; and strategies to raise awareness of mental health issues and improve members wellbeing. View the video below.
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The interview is part of a new NAHB initiative
on member mental health and wellbeing. Specific goals of the initiative include:
- Improving awareness
- Facilitating discussion
- Destigmatizing mental health and addiction
- Taking a leadership position moving forward
In addition to working with Spencer-Thomas, NAHB is partnering with MindWise Innovations
, which provides services to businesses who understand the profound impact mental health challenges have on workforce health and productivity. NAHB is working with Lisa Desai, Psy.D, the Director of Mental Health Screening and Research at MindWise, co-author of "Building Behavioral Health in the Construction" (The Leader
– Winter 2020, The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants Participation Association, vpppa.org
MindWise is conducting a pilot program with NAHB's Young Professionals Committee designed to understand and articulate the mental health needs and risk factors within the young professional membership and offer support and continued development to ensure a safe, healthy, productive, and long-lasting professional pipeline. In addition to behavioral health literacy courses and customized materials to support the literacy campaign, a key component of the program is the MindWise online screening platform that provides members with access to customized, anonymous screenings for 13 major mental health concerns.
"When we say we care about members, mental health is an important component of a holistic approach," said NAHB YP Committee Chair Heather Laminack. "The NAHB Young Professionals Committee is excited about hosting the conversation surrounding this important topic, and helping members understand the resources and tools that NAHB offers to help them navigate this complex issue."
Learn more about this initiative and view resources on nahb.org
For any questions about NAHB’s mental wellbeing initiative, contact David Jaffe
or Rob Matuga