The official launch of the Get Construction Talking global initiative kicked off last night in London. I joined other Procore employees, our partners at The B1M, and construction industry leaders for a screening of a new two-part documentary series followed by a panel discussion featuring Procore CEO Tooey Courtemanche, founder of The B1M Fred Mills, Yewande Akinola MBE and award-winning engineer, and Logan Price of OHB Construction.
Get Construction Talking aims to raise awareness of mental health in construction, reduce stigma, and raise $1 million in funds to donate to charitable organizations that are committed to providing mental health resources to construction. The new documentary series is now available to view on The B1M’s YouTube channel, alongside a new portal, podcast series, and events program.
“In discussing the mental health crisis in construction with Fred, I realized that in order for Procore to further our vision of improving the lives of everyone in construction, we needed to lean in to help make an impact,” said Courtemanche during his opening remarks. “We’re all here because we’re curious and concerned about the industry and want to know what we can do to help.”
The video series discusses the importance of focusing on mental health awareness in construction, an industry that is prone to many risk factors including a stoic culture, physically demanding work, and long hours. In the US, a construction worker is five times more likely to die by suicide than from all other causes combined. Among men in the US, UK and Australia, construction has one of the highest suicide rates of any sector.
“There’s published evidence that people working in roles with lower control are at higher risk of dying of suicide,” said Chris Lockwood, CEO of MATES Australia in the documentary video series. “Long working hours can lead to lack of social connection and periods of no work can contribute to financial hardships. These basic things that are prevalent in construction impact wellbeing.”
By talking about mental health experiences, sharing personal stories, and demonstrating peer support, anyone can help improve the culture of safety in the construction industry. Fred Mills first shared his personal journey with mental health struggles during his keynote at Procore’s annual Groundbreak conference in 2022.
I was moved by Fred’s courage to open up so vulnerably, and address the stigma head on, by starting the conversations and creating hope. “I thought that if I can take that first step to talk about it on such a large platform, I could help normalize these conversations and help others that feel the same,” said Mills.
The funds raised through Get Construction Talking will go towards construction mental health charities across the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, including the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP), Lighthouse Charity, MATES in Construction, Mates in Mind and Construction Sport.
To learn more and get involved, visit procore.com/health-safety.