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Mental Health First Aid in Construction: What You Need to Know

As we have talked about this month, the construction industry can be a demanding and stressful field to work in, with long hours, physical labor, and tight deadlines. As a result, mental health concerns are prevalent among construction workers. However, many people in the industry are still hesitant to speak up about their mental health struggles, and there is often a lack of resources and support available to those who need it. This is where Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) can come in.

In this post, we will discuss who needs mental health training, how to select the best option for your organization in, what Mental Health First Aid is, and how it can benefit the construction industry to promote mental wellness and support workers in need.

Who Needs Mental Health Training?

Earlier this month we talked about just how important mental health is within the construction industry (if you missed it, no worries, just click here to read the post). To increase organizational awareness of mental health you will need to consider how to train your employees and who needs that training.

The short answer is that everyone in your organization - employees at all levels - will need training, and may look different depending on the level within the organization. Providing mental health training to everyone is an essential step towards building a culture of support. When leaders and employees have a shared understanding of mental health, they can work together to identify and address concerns early on. This can help to reduce the stigma around mental health issues, which can make it easier for workers to seek help when they need it.

What Training is Right for My Organization?

Mental health training is crucial in every workplace, especially in the construction industry. However, with different training programs available, choosing the right one for your organization can be overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the best mental health training for your team.

  1. Company size: Depending on the number of employees in your organization, you may need different types of mental health training. For instance, a smaller company with a handful of employees may opt for an online course, while a larger organization may need more personalized and interactive training.

  2. Industry specific: While mental health is an essential topic across industries, each field has unique stressors and challenges. Choosing a mental health training program that specifically addresses the concerns of the construction industry is important.

  3. Budget: Mental health training programs vary in cost, and it is crucial to choose a program that fits within your organization's budget. However, the cost should not be the only determining factor as investing in your employees' mental health can ultimately lead to increased productivity and lower healthcare costs.

  4. Program content: Review the content of the mental health training program to ensure it covers the essential topics your employees need to know. Look for a program that offers practical skills that employees can apply in real-life scenarios.

Overall, mental health training should be tailored to the unique needs of your organization. Choose a program that meets the above criteria and fits your budget, and you'll be taking a step in the right direction to promote positive mental health in your workplace.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training program that teaches individuals how to identify, understand, and respond to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis. This program is designed to provide individuals with the skills needed to support and assist someone in need of mental health support until appropriate professional help can be obtained.

The MHFA training program covers a range of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It is designed to be accessible and applicable for anyone, regardless of their background or profession. It is especially important for those working in high-stress industries such as construction, where the prevalence of mental health conditions can be higher than in other professions.

The training program can be delivered in either an interactive classroom-style setting or dynamic virtual setting (to accommodate a geographically diverse workforce). It covers a range of topics, including risk factors, warning signs, and the appropriate action to take in a mental health crisis. Participants will also learn about available resources and how to help someone access professional support if needed.

Overall, Mental Health First Aid is a valuable training program that provides individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to support and assist those experiencing a mental health crisis. By being better equipped to identify and respond to mental health conditions, we can help create a more supportive and inclusive workplace culture.

Why does Mental Health First Aid Work in Construction?

Mental health challenges are unfortunately common in the construction industry. However, many employees in this field feel as though they don't have anyone to turn to when they're struggling. That's why Mental Health First Aid can be so effective.

By providing Mental Health First Aid training to construction workers, you're giving them the tools they need to recognize and respond to mental health concerns in themselves and their peers. When employees feel supported and equipped to handle difficult situations, they're more likely to seek help when they need it and reach out to others who may be struggling.

Furthermore, promoting Mental Health First Aid can help break down the stigma surrounding mental health in the construction industry. It's no secret that there's a cultural expectation in construction for workers to be tough and resilient at all times, and that can lead to many employees feeling as though they can't talk about their struggles without being seen as weak. However, by normalizing discussions around mental health and providing education on how to identify and respond to these issues, we can begin to shift that narrative and create a more supportive and inclusive work environment.

Overall, Mental Health First Aid can make a big difference in the construction industry by improving employee mental health and wellbeing, promoting safety on job sites, and helping to break down stigma around mental health. If you're considering implementing Mental Health First Aid training in your organization, the benefits are clear - it's an investment in your employees and their future success.

What is Right for Your Organization?

When it comes to choosing the right mental health training program for your construction organization, it's important to consider how does this training fit into the other steps you are taking. Educating your workforce is one of the keys to breaking the stigma. However, this education needs to be surrounded with leadership buy-in, organizational partnerships, access to resources, and a plan going forward.

Interested in learning more about Mental Health First Aid or not sure what mental health training is best for your organization? No problem, let's talk. Just click here to schedule a free call to discuss.


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