In an attempt to improve mental health in the construction industry by normalizing discussions about suicide and mental wellbeing in residential construction, the National Association of Home Builders has partnered with clinical psychologist and mental health advocate Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas to conduct a pilot program with the North Carolina Home Builders Association. Called “Blueprint for Worker Well-Being,” the program is part of NAHB's Member Mental Health and Wellness Initiative and is supported by a grant from the Job-Site Safety Institute.
The pilot program aims to develop a strategic plan that would promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention, which could then be replicated throughout the NAHB Federation.
According to Dr. Spencer-Thomas, storytelling is our most powerful tool to reduce mental health stigma, which is arguably the biggest barrier in any construction mental health initiative.
“Getting to know people who have ‘lived experience’ with depression, anxiety, addiction and suicidal thoughts does more to undo stigma than all other methods,” Spencer-Thomas notes.
NAHB has published two videos of home building professionals telling their personal stories of the impact mental health issues have had on their lives and careers.