Home Builders Launch Jobsite Mental Health Program
As part of its Member Mental Health and Wellness Initiative, NAHB has been partnered with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas to conduct a pilot program with the North Carolina Home Builders Association called “Blueprint for Worker Well-Being.”
The goal of the pilot program, supported by a grant from the Job-Site Safety Institute, is to develop a strategic plan for mental health awareness promotion and suicide prevention that can be replicated by other associations within the NAHB Federation.
A key component of that program involves storytelling. 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. Brandon Bryant, owner of Red Tree Builders in Asheville, N.C. and 2023 President of the North Carolina HBA, and Gary Hill, a home builder in North Carolina, bravely sat down and told their stories. Watch the videos here.
Bryant also recently appeared on a podcast produced by Builders Mutual that discussed these issues. Hill will appear on a panel discussing his experience with storytelling at the Construction Working Minds Summit in Kansas City, March 28-29, which NAHB is sponsoring.
At the 2023 IBS Leadership Council Meeting, NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey held a panel discussion with Bryant and Hill to discuss the importance of storytelling. Watch the video below.
The more we work to normalize discussions about mental health and wellbeing in residential construction, the more people will seek help for themselves and others when they identify potential issues.