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Mental health in construction: creating a culture of transparency and wellbeing

In a ConnectCRE interview, Ismet Dalipi, Unispace Regional Safety Manager, Americas shared the importance of keeping workers’ mental health at the forefront during construction projects.

Mental health in construction is often overlooked; however, in a 2020 study, 83% of construction workers indicated they have experienced a mental health issue. The demanding work schedule, both physically and mentally can put a significant amount of stress and anxiety on workers, and many don’t report or seek help for their feelings. In fact, 60% reported struggling with mental health, but only a third say they would share this with their employers.

Why? Ismet shares, In the construction industry, cultural norms that discourage showing emotions have created a barrier for workers seeking help. Many fear being mocked, bullied, or ostracized for speaking up about their mental health struggles.”

The effects of untreated mental health struggles can cause challenges on job sites, loss in work, or in severe cases harm to oneself or others. It’s critical employers address the stigma surrounding mental health in the construction industry through better communication, awareness, and access to resources.

The good news? Sentiment in the industry is starting to change around this as awareness builds. By encouraging a culture of wellness and creating a safe and welcoming environment, employees will feel safe to seek help if they need it.

We launched our Safer Together initiative in 2020, encouraging a culture of wellness and creating a safe and welcoming environment, where employees feel safe to seek help if they need it. There are three elements to Safer Together:

  • Think Safe.
  • Feel Safe.
  • Be Safe.

Ismet says, “At Unispace, we've developed a robust safety program that reflects a genuine commitment to mental health. We try to demonstrate to workers that their well-being is a top priority, and they are not alone.”

Our commitment to safety has been recognized internationally, with recent awards including:

  • Gold award at the 2023 RoSPA Health & Safety Awards in the UK for our dedication to raising health and safety standards
  • International Safety Award, with Distinction, from the British Safety Council in recognition of our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and workplaces. 

Read the full ConnectCRE article here.

Read more from Ismet about mental health in construction in Construction Executive.

About Ismet Dalipi, Regional Safety Manager, Americas at Unispace

Ismet Dalipi, Unispace Regional Safety Manager, AmericasWith nearly two decades of experience, Ismet takes a forward-thinking and innovative approach to safety management. He proactively identifies opportunities for improvement, driving change where required, and enforcing compliance to prevent incidents. He brings working expertise with both OSHA and NYC Department of Buildings regulations, and has worked long-term in the NYC metro and Tri-State areas.

Connect with Ismet on LinkedIn.