Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Let’s break the stigma by building awareness.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Associated Builders & Contractors NH/VT (ABC NH/VT) is proud to announce the launch of "Breaking the Stigma", a series of workshops aimed at promoting mental health awareness and well-being within the construction industry.

Taking place every Wednesday throughout the month of May, "Breaking the Stigma" will feature engaging and informative presentations on various topics related to mental health and total human health. These sessions will cover critical areas such as substance use disorders, suicide prevention, psychological safety on the jobsite, and hard hat health.

"We are committed to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health within the construction industry," said Jennifer Landon, VP of Education and Workforce Development, ABC NH/VT. "The Breaking the Stigma Series is designed to provide valuable insights, resources, and support to ABC members, fostering a culture of well-being and safety in the workplace."

Key Details

  • Time: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm (EST)
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Cost: $100 per company grants access to each week's presentation for the entire staff
  • Register your company at or call 603-226-4789

Session Topics

May 1: Hardhat Health – It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Mental health is a significant concern for workers in the construction industry. Construction can be a high-stress environment, driven by deadlines and long working hours. Many workers deal with physical pain and fatigue that can lead to poor emotional well-being over time. Stigma is a barrier for people who may be struggling so normalizing conversations about mental health is a great way to support people who may be struggling. This session will address the following:

  • The impact of mental health challenges on the well-being of employees
  • Discover a variety reasons why mental health disorders are so prevalent in the construction industry
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of mental health challenges

Presented by: Harald Carlson, MBA, ARM, LEED AP – BD&C Trainer, OHS&T

May 8: Addiction in Construction
Addiction is a major health issue for anyone, but there are additional risks for construction workers. This workshop will address:

  • The Numbers
  • How Addiction Happens
  • Harm Reduction Strategies 
  • Policy Modification 

Presented by: Mary Drew, MS, MEd, Founder & CEO, Reality Check, Inc.

May 15: Civility & Respect Across Difference: Reducing Stress & Increasing Productivity in Construction
"Reducing Stress & Increasing Productivity in Construction"

When creating cultures that value psychological safety, civility and respect play a key role. This workshop will explain the value of civility and respectful behavior in a construction company setting and the basic concepts that lead to effectively interacting with people from various backgrounds, cultures (Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, etc.) and personality characteristics.

The workshop will address:

  • What civility and respect are
  • Why civility and respect across difference is important
  • Definitions of diversity, culture equity, inclusion, implicit bias
  • The impact on mental health and the harm that is done to individuals and the company when unintended discrimination occurs.

Presented by: James T. McKim, Jr., PMP, ITIL, Managing Partner, Organizational Ignition, LLC

May 22: Why is Suicide So Prevalent in Construction?
This workshop will address the following:

  • Understanding appropriate language around mental health and suicide
  • Gain an understanding of why the construction industry has some of the highest suicide rates 
  • Recognize the signs and realize that it’s not just those in the field who are impacted
  • Hear about best practices to create a culture of care and support workers impacted by suicide ideology, mental health challenges and substance use disorder
  • Review resources available

Time permitting, we will watch a 7-minute survivor story video with Justin Azbill, Director of National Environment, Health & Safety Milwaukee Tool
NOTE: This is NOT a suicide prevention training
Presented by: Jennifer Landon, M.Ed., Certified Construction Suicide Prevention Trainer, Grief Educator, Mental Health First Aider, ABC NH/VT Vice President, Education & Workforce Development

May 29: Brett’s Story: Lived Experience 
Brett, project manager, licensed plumber, and person in recovery from alcohol addiction will share some of his stories related to mental health challenges, his addiction and how he now supports those as a leader in his industry and in recovery. 

“I’ve learned that most people with abuse problems, believe it or not, are just broken. They are some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. I learned a lot about myself and how I was a broken person. I now think that alcohol wasn’t so much the problem for me when I was drinking as it was more of a medicine for me. It was my fix all. Someone died? Drink. Someone was born? Drink. Happy? Drink. Sad? Drink. Work is great? Drink. Work sucks? Drink. Funny enough, I knew I had a problem for years and I was ashamed of it.”

Brett will also discuss the value of working for a company that supports their employees. 

Presented by: Brett Averill, Project Manager, Licensed Plumber, Al Terry Plumbing & Heating, ABC NH/VT Member