Off the heels of a successful Construction Safety Week and in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and our very own Build a Better You campaign, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, Citnalta welcomed Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas to talk to our employees about the truths of mental health and suicide in the construction industry.
The two-hour seminar consisted of deep discussions and facts on stress, anxiety, substance abuse, depression and suicide, with a focus on how to recognize warning signs or approach conversations regarding the topic.
During the presentation, employees answered a series of live anonymous polls. The polls ranged from questions like "What is one word that comes to mind when you think of the phrase 'mental health'," to multiple choice questions about our experiences with mental health and suicide.
One of the most impactful parts of the seminar was the small group workshops, whereby employees discussed in small groups what they believe to be the triggering factors contributing to mental health issues in the construction industry. Groups shared their thoughts on the topic, including layoffs, an old-school mentality throughout the industry, project schedule demands, traveling to and from work, and more.
The very topic of mental health has for too long been taboo, not only in the construction industry but in many of our personal lives as well. We were exposed to examples on how to recognize our own stressors, how to recognize family members and coworkers who may be dealing with an issue, and provided guidance on how to communicate and assist in these matters.