Mental Health Awareness in the Construction Trades

Communications Director Bailee Butcher

National Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Talking to your employees and coworkers about mental health has always been important, but since the pandemic, rates have increased and have caused an even greater need for awareness.  

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the construction/skilled trades industry ranks second highest in suicide rates among major industries.

Research shows that up to 90% of people who die by suicide have a mental health condition. Depression is the most common contributing condition, however other conditions may impact suicide rates including substance use disorders — most commonly alcohol misuse, anxiety, and trauma.

Why are construction suicide rates so high?

There could be many reasons why the construction industry ranks higher on the list than many other professions.

  • Male dominated industry; suicides are higher in men than women.
  • Chronic pain, addiction to medication is a problem for the skilled trades as well.
  • High stress and deadline work.
  • Toughness and strength are valued in the profession. Not sharing feelings or seeking help to prevent looking weak or timid.  

No matter the suspected reason, the best outcomes for mental health care is when help is sought out early.

National Mental Health Awareness Month

What you can do to help

A study conducted by The Center of Workplace Mental Health that surveyed 1,175 construction/skilled trades professionals found that the best strategy for positive mental health impact is leadership engagement. Here are some strategies you can implement to create a culture of mental health awareness and well-being:

  • Writing polices into place to assist employees with mental health concerns.
  • Discuss mental health during safety huddles, job site meeting, stand downs, etc.
  • Create a list of resources for employees to use when they reach out or express mental health concern.

By promoting psychological safety in your company, you can mitigate and address concerns of mental health head-on.

Reminder, with your association membership, you may be eligible for an employee health insurance plan. Visit to learn more.

If you have any questions about National Mental Health Awareness Month or would like resources, please contact Master Builders Association of Pierce County Communications Director Bailee Butcher at