Colorado Public Works Journal, Spring-Summer 2021

Spring - Summer 2021 | 19 keep drilling this down to reach supervisors and workers. Thanks to the CFMA for launching the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (www.preventconstructionsui- cide.com) . This website is a repository of resources. Why do you think that workers avoid the subject? The topic is still considered taboo – too many people don’t talk about their feelings. Historically there are many multi-genera- tional families in construction and if they do not talk about it at home, they will not discuss it at work. The “old school” culture still runs strong in our industry. No one likes to admit that they need help, as it is interpreted that you are weak, so many work- ers just “suck it up”. How can we change that? 1. Leaders should acknowledge that the industry has a mental health, substance misuse, and suicide risk. 2. Companies should decide that they are going to do some- thing about it by building a caring culture. 3. Build mental health resources, including EAP and crisis hot- line wallet cards, into your new hire orientation program and employee benefits open enrollment meetings. 4. Weave mental health into to the health and safety program by sharing workplace posters, toolbox talks, and safety stand- downs. Employers are encouraged to communicating regularly with — and listen to — employees. In the office or project trailer, one-on-ones allow for sharing resources in private. On job- sites, safety huddles and sharing wallet cards and hard hat stickers for crews becomes an effective way of sharing re- sources and reducing stigma. If someone reading this thinks they may have a problem, or has a co-worker they think needs help, what should they do? Reach out to the person you’re concerned about and express concern for their wellbeing. Let them know you care and that you’re available to assist them. Reassure them that help is a just phone call away. Share resources with them and stay with them if they are in a crisis. Tell us the association with Holmes Murphy, who are one of our advertisers. In March 2020, I joined CSDZ, which is a Holmes Murphy Company. I’ve long known the company to be innovative and focused on providing solutions to the industries they service. Construction is the sole industry for CSDZ and a major focus for Holmes Murphy. During the pandemic I’ve been teaching people how to incorporate mental health and wellbeing into safety and health culture and practices. I’m excited to share the following: Workforce Risk and Worker Wellbeing vision: https://www.csdz.com/service/worker-wel lbeing-and- suicide-prevention/ Worker Wellbeing Model: https://www.csdz.com/service/ worker-wellbeing-and-suicide-prevention/ Who would you like to see us interview in CPWJ? Send your suggestions to us at: jo@coloradopublicworksjournal.com

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