VJS Construction Services and Hunzinger Construction host wellness lunches on local jobsites, promoting mental health awareness and resources.
Local construction firms, VJS Construction Services (VJS) and Hunzinger Construction Company, hosted WCWC lunches on September 19 to promote mental health wellness and resources in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month. VJS hosted over 100 craftspeople at the New Chemistry Building project on the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee campus, and Hunzinger Construction hosted over 100 craftspeople as well at the Uline WQ building project in Pleasant Prairie, WI.
“Our focus today was to ensure our craftspeople are aware of the mental health resources provided by their union membership, and to continue our work towards normalizing discussions about mental health. We discussed the prevalence of mental illness, where to go for help, and how to recognize signs of mental illness in our co-workers, friends and family. We’re hopeful that conversations like these will help further our mission and help save lives,” stated Bruce Morton, WCWC Board President and Senior Loss Control Consultant at Marsh McLennon Agency.
According to the U.S. CDC, in the United States, suicide rates in the construction industry are four times greater than the general population.
In response to this startling statistic, in 2022, WCWC was formed by a group of Wisconsin construction contractors in order to train each other on internal mental health processes, discover third-party resources available, and work to implement these resources into the industry on a macro and micro level.
“WCWC is working to make a difference in mental health discussions in the workplace, by getting the message out through contractors, supervisors, vendors, relatives, and training classes. The more normal we make these conversations, the more the stigma will lift, and the more people will get the assistance they need,” states Elizabeth Polheber, Senior Safety Manager at VJS. “Our goal is that one day it is just considered ‘normal’ to talk about mental health in every workplace.”
More information about WCWC, resources, upcoming events and more can be found on their website: www.wisconwel.com