May is widely recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and promote the importance of mental well-being. This month is an excellent opportunity to shed light on mental health issues and the unique approach that EDA Contractors takes to strengthen its employees’ emotional intelligence and mental health. Due to the high rates of mental health issues and suicide within the construction industry, EDA Contractors recognizes the need to prioritize mental health, while fostering a healthy and supportive work environment.
Mental Health in Construction
The construction industry is known for its physical demands, but what often goes unnoticed is the toll it takes on mental health. The demanding nature of the work, long hours, job insecurity, and a traditionally stoic culture have contributed to higher rates of mental health issues among construction workers. According to studies, the construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates when compared to other sectors, highlighting the urgent need for change and support.
EDA’s Commitment to Mental Health and Company Culture
EDA Contractors understands the pressing need to address mental health concerns within our industry. We recognize that focusing solely on physical safety isn't sufficient; mental health and well-being has to be prioritized alongside it. This starts by fostering a supportive and empathetic work environment; at EDA, this includes an emphasis on our unique company culture. We believe that by fostering a positive workplace culture is crucial for the well-being of our employees. We encourage open dialogue and actively listen to employee concerns and experiences. Regular check-ins, both formal and informal, are conducted to ensure that mental health is prioritized and that employees feel supported. Through two yearly town halls, encouraging 360-degree communications loops, and numerous company outings, EDA leaders are available and open to hearing from all employees. Workers are constantly updated on company news, changes, and major announcements, and feedback is always welcome.
Emotional Intelligence: The Foundation for a Stronger Leaders
At EDA Contractors, training our employees in emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the key ways that we develop our employees’ mental health. Emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions in oneself and others. It involves cultivating empathy, building strong relationships, and fostering open communication.
EDA Contractors places a strong emphasis on emotional intelligence by offering leadership trainings for people managers throughout the company. By promoting self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication, employees are better equipped to understand both their personal and their colleagues' emotional needs. This approach creates a more compassionate and supportive work environment, thus reducing the stigma around mental health issues and improving overall mental well-being.
Breathing: An Essential Tool for Stress Management
One powerful tool utilized by EDA Contractors to support mental health is the emphasis on proper breathing techniques. While it may seem simplistic, deep breathing exercises have proven benefits in reducing stress and emotional reactivity. The construction industry is often associated with high-pressure situations and fast-paced work environments. By integrating these techniques into employee routines, we strive to enhance people’s resilience, focus, and overall mental well-being.
Spreading Awareness and Inspiring Change
EDA Contractors is leading the way in the construction industry by prioritizing mental health and investing in culture. By integrating things like breathing techniques and fostering a strong company culture, EDA is constantly looking to support its employees' mental well-being and seeks to inspire change within the industry. The construction industry must recognize the impact of mental health issues and elevated suicide rates among its workers and strive to create environments that prioritize mental well-being. This Mental Health Awareness Month, we hope to inspire change throughout the industry and encourage other companies to follow suit.
We can all help prevent suicide. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
For more information and resources, go to: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988/faqs