Multiple studies indicate that the COVID pandemic and job insecurity affect workers’ mental health. For example, a Canadian study says construction workers experience more mental health issues than most.
“There are probably several factors […] that include vulnerability to burnout. So you’ve got individuals that are often working long hours, environments that are effectively dangerous [and] always that ongoing risk of job insecurity,” says Dr. Khush Amaria.
Some of the everyday stressors include pressure to avoid high-risk mistakes.
Dr. Amaria, PhD., C.Psych, a clinical psychologist and senior clinical director for CBT Associates and MindBeacon digital therapy, says: through MindBeacon’s research, the organization asserts that “[Construction workers] suffer from higher levels of anxiety and depression than the general population.”
Some statistics show that construction workers experience one of the highest rates of suicide among all professions. However, many factors affect this issue: “Without being too stereotypical, [construction] is still a fairly male-dominated industry, and we know overall attention to men’s mental health issues is still quite low in the research community,” Dr. Amara says.
Some studies show higher rates of substance abuse in construction workers. In addition, a taxing work environment physically wears laborers; this increases the likelihood of substance abuse.
Said Dr. Amaria: “We may believe that we’ve come a long way when talking about stigma, but it’s not even across our Canadian landscape. We continually try to break the stigma, but people still suffer in silence. People still struggle to identify signs of mental illness decline, and struggle to seek help in different industries.”
Several studies citing mental health issues among construction workers in the wake of the pandemic lead some to evaluate strategies to relieve stress and burnout in the construction industry.