Mental health has been an important emerging issue in the heavy construction industry even before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the mental health initiatives that companies put in place prior to March this year are being greatly tested by COVID-19.
While our industry’s work is deemed essential and, therefore, continues in the current ‘code red’ environment, our employees nonetheless are dealing with stepped up work safety protocols and the pressures of daily life brought on by the pandemic. Companies, therefore, must work harder to support their workers’ mental health.
Today it is even more important for managers to pay attention to company culture and attitudes towards mental health.
Mental health strategies must be flexible to respond to the workforce’s needs. Ensure to review your policies and procedures regularly. In addition to the COVID-19 health screening, remember to:
- Conduct regular mental health screenings
- Consult staff on issues that concern them
- Enable your employees to raise concerns through appropriate channels
- Promote good mental health practices regularly
Additionally, mental health training for supervisors needs to run together with resources made available to workers. Visit St. John Ambulance or the Canadian Mental Health Association for further information on training for management at https://mb.stjohntraining.ca/ or https://mbwpg.cmha.ca/.