For Employers

Risk Factors

Industry Risk Factors

There are a lot of different factors that come into play when looking at risks – emotional and physical stressors – for poor mental health. Every work industry carries its own unique set of risks for workers. Some of the factors impacting mental health in the construction industry include:

  • Physical exhaustion due to hard labour
  • Long working hours
  • Physical injuries and chronic pain
  • A competitive, male-dominated work culture
  • A culture of substance use
  • Seasonal layoffs

Workplace Risk Factors

The norms, culture, and practices of the workplace can have a massive effect on workers’ mental health. Below is a list of workplace characteristics that heighten employees’ risk for experiencing poor mental health:

  • Employer values don’t make wellness a priority.
  • Workplace doesn’t encourage screening for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
  • Communication practices don’t model openness and support.
  • Workplace doesn’t have an Employee Assistance Program, or has one but doesn’t promote it to employees.
  • Stigma for mental health conditions exists.
  • Workplace doesn’t routinely offer educational programs and training on mental health topics.
  • "Pressure Cooker Stress" is the norm.
  • Workplace doesn’t distribute mental health awareness material (brochures/posters/fact sheets).
  • Mental health benefits not offered or not covered at the same level as other physical disorders.
  • Workplace doesn’t have Standard Operating Guide for how best to handle suicide crises.
  • Workplace not aware of general local mental health resources.

Personal Risk Factors

It’s important to be aware of some of the different types of personal risk factors that employees may have that heightens their chance of experiencing a mental health problem.

Awareness of these factors can help spot early signs and help you intervene sooner:

  • Attitude of extreme self-reliance
  • Strained marriage or family conflict
  • Tendency to self-medicate (uses alcohol or drugs a lot)
  • Financial strain
  • Complaints of poor sleep
  • A lack of agency (feeling no control over things in life)
  • Chronic pain
  • History of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
  • Frequent talk of failing
  • Experiencing shame or humiliation
  • Feeling trapped
  • Exaggerated "macho" behaviour and attitudes