September 7, 2021
One Conversation Could Change a Life
The construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates and highest percentages of employees with mental health concerns compared to other industries. At FTI, we’ve been focusing on the mental health of our team members now more than ever by offering support and resources when they need it the most. Not only is jobsite safety a priority for our industry, but emotional safety is just as important. Normalizing mental health conversations is an important step to ensure we’re caring fully for our teams.
Employee safety and wellbeing is a priority year-round, but during Suicide Prevention Month, FTI is committed to sharing communications with our team members on a weekly basis to focus on the warning signs of suicide, provide support and crisis resources, and share information to help raise awareness around this difficult topic. We are revisiting the mental health training resources we introduced earlier this year, presented by Mettie Spiess from A World Without Suicide. This training provides leaders with skills and best practices to support mental health and psychological safety, while the all-employee sessions cover topics ranging from stress-relief exercises, to identifying and supporting a coworker in crisis, to what to do if you’re considering suicide.
At FTI, our Culture of Care is aimed at fostering a supportive, caring and safe environment and enabling a positive, stigma-free culture where mental health conversations are normalized. We strive for a culture where team members feel safe asking for help and support when it comes to mental health and suicidal thoughts, or if they are concerned about another team member’s wellbeing and safety. Our leaders conduct Culture of Care check-ins with their teams on a regular basis to find out what is taking up their headspace, and what ways they can move into the right mindset to have a safe and productive day. Additionally, we’ve recently introduced Time to Recharge – two paid hours that are given to each employee monthly to focus on themselves, help reduce stressors and allow for more work/life balance.
Creating awareness and education around mental health support and resources is essential in order to decrease employee risk. We ensure our team members are aware of the free and confidential Employee Assistance Program, behavioral health benefits and telemedicine options, health coaching, stress management and mindfulness courses, screening tools and community crisis support.
As a team, we can help to prevent suicide by openly talking about mental health, identifying warning signs and connecting individuals to resources during a crisis. At FTI, no team member should struggle in silence. We encourage our team members to be their brother’s and sister’s keeper – because just one conversation could change a life.