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Mental health resources and training ‘underutilized’ in civil construction industry: report

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Photos: kali9/iStockphoto

Hamilton, NJ — Leaders and workers in the civil construction industry lack training and resources on addressing and promoting mental health, according to a recent report published by Dodge Data & Analytics.

Developed in partnership with Infotech and Hexagon, the report is based on an online survey of 200 contractors and 51 engineers working on civil infrastructure projects. The survey was conducted from Oct. 17 to Nov. 21.

Less than a third of the respondents said their organizations offer “effective means” to promote mental health improvement. The most common resources offered are employee assistance programs (34%) and information on mental health assessment websites (32%).

Training was notably less common. Just 15% of the contractors indicated their organizations offer training for leadership on the importance of mental health, as well as manager/supervisor training on addressing mental health issues and recognizing warning signs for suicide. Twenty-five percent said training is available for field workers. 

“Training is currently underutilized, especially for managers/supervisors and for company leadership,” the report states. “Far more believe this type of training would be helpful than report that it occurs at their companies.”

Further, 11% of the contractors indicated that their organizations’ leadership uses workplace assessment tools to boost mental health, and 22% said their organization distributed information on mental health programs and challenges.


Asked to compare the mental health climate at their organization with how it was five years ago, 36% of the contractors said conditions had improved, while 15% reported things were worse.

“This is likely influenced by the high levels of job security currently at most companies in an industry still struggling with skilled worker shortages,” Dodge Data & Analytics states in a press release, “but it may also be due in part to heightened attention to the issue of mental health that has occurred since health became a bigger priority for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The report was published in The Civil Quarterly, a publication of the Dodge Construction Network.

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