Normalizing the Mental Health Conversation in AEC

  • Apr 29, 2021

By Bryce Morrow, Chief Corporate Officer

For the last 14 months, men, women, and children have endured unimaginable mental health struggles brought on by the coronavirus. Navigating these uncharted circumstances impacted our lives and left many feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The impact on the AEC industry remains challenging, given the nature of our work. With increasing numbers of adults already vaccinated, it does feel like the proverbial weight is lifting. However, many still struggle silently with mental health challenges.

The pandemic has brought this topic to the forefront, but it is not a new challenge in the U.S. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that in 2019, 20.6 percent of U.S. adults experienced mental illness, which represents 1 in 5 adults.

Mental Health America said that as of 2018, 60 percent of youth with depression do not receive any treatment, even in the states with the most significant access. Although therapy, medication, and self-care help many, taking the first steps in seeking care is challenging. The stigma around mental health and confusion around care options exacerbate the issue. The delay between when symptoms begin and when seeking care can be years – and men are significantly less likely to ask for help than women.

At The Beck Group, we commit to speak more regularly about mental health—not only now but after the pandemic. We mustn’t stop. The momentum we’ve gained is raising awareness and advocating for mental health throughout the A/E/C industry. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide and the highest number of suicides across all occupational groups.

Along with the rest of Beck’s Corporate Leadership Group, I am committed to this effort and supporting our people and their families. We have enhanced benefits and resources, support education and outreach campaigns, and discuss mental health openly, honestly, and without judgment.

The first step in normalizing the conversation starts with you. Join the rest of The Beck Group team and me as we learn about essential mental health topics. We offer employee resources through Beck University and in Benefits and Safety emails. Externally, we talk about mental health in this channel, BeckThink, and on social media.

Together we can make a positive impact on each other and the industry.