Building What Matters: A New Legacy of Mental Health

By Brian DiSabatino • May 15, 2024 • LESS THAN 5 MINUTES

May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, a time for us to shine a light on the often overlooked aspects of mental well-being in every sector, including construction. In an industry where physical rigor seems to equate to mental toughness, it’s crucial we address the silent struggles that many of our colleagues face every day.

At EDiS, we believe it’s possible to build a new legacy where we prioritize the mental health of our employees and friends. The construction industry, with its challenging environments and high demands, has a notably high rate of mental health issues, including a distressingly high incidence of suicide. We have committed ourselves to an ongoing dialogue about mental health, aiming to dismantle the stigma and provide a proactive network of support for our workers.

You may find yourself asking – why is mental health a pressing issue in construction? The physical demands, sometimes unpredictable hours, and inherent danger in the work can lead to significant stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, the long-standing culture of stoicism in the field can prevent individuals from seeking help or even acknowledging their struggles.

But we can change this narrative. We can work together to create an environment where mental health is recognized as part of our overall Safety and Health Program, as well as included in our overall benefits strategy. We believe that caring for our team’s mental health is as crucial as ensuring their physical safety on the job site.

Here are some actionable steps we can all take to support our friends, family, and teams:

  1. Mental Health Training: As employers, we can provide our managers and team leaders with training and resources to help them recognize signs of mental distress and offer appropriate support.
  2. Promoting Work-Life Balance: We can look for ways to improve work-life balance by managing workloads and recognizing the need for time off to recharge.
  3. Open Conversations: As individuals, we can encourage open discussions about mental health, sharing experiences, and offering support.
  4. Break stigmas:  Use words like “getting help”, mindfulness, and therapy as freely as we discuss the once stigmatized breast and prostate examinations.  If we can normalize these words and phrases, they won’t feel awkward or unusual. And the next time you hear yourself whispering the words, say them boldly!

This Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s remind ourselves of the power of speaking up and reaching out. Each conversation we have, each story we share, strengthens our community and builds a legacy of openness and support.

To my fellow men and women in the construction industry: You are not alone. We are in this together, building what truly matters—a legacy of strength, support, and resilience. Let us take this month to commit to mental well-being, ensuring it remains as fundamental as any tool in our toolbox.

Help is always available, no matter what level of support you need.

  1. If you’re looking for tools to help with stress, meditation, or self-care, the Mental Health Association in Delaware has a list of both paid and free resources available.
  2. If you are struggling, Help is Here Delaware provides a variety of resources, including support groups, assistance finding a provider, and phone, and in-person services for mental health and addiction.
  3. If you are in crisis, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988 at any time. For more information, visit 988 Lifeline.

Join us in building a better tomorrow, where mental health is prioritized and supported across all levels of our industry. Together, we can build a legacy that values the strength not just of our structures, but of our people.