McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., a national builder based in St. Louis, was recently honored with a 2021 Safety Award for Excellence by the National Association of Home Builders and its official safety sponsor, Builders Mutual.
McCarthy received the Excellence in Mental Health Advocacy Award for a construction company on Feb. 8 during the 2022 International Builders’ Show.
The Safety Award for Excellence recognizes those individuals and companies that worked to achieve exemplary safety and health programs in the construction the industry. This year, as an extension of NAHB’s member mental health and wellbeing initiative, three new categories were added to the SAFE Awards to recognize excellence in mental health programs and advocacy.
In 2021, McCarthy launched an expanded and integrated approach to break the stigma surrounding mental health to better meet the needs of employees, its craft workforce and families. An important component of the effort was McCarthy’s interest in sharing details about its proactive approach, and also sharing materials with companies or organizations in any industry working on similar efforts.
“Construction offers a wide variety of rewarding career options, and we are committed to delivering a great experience for everyone who works with us,” said McCarthy Director of Total Rewards Kristyn Cantu, in a statement. “Unfortunately, mental health has long been a challenge in the construction industry and the COVID-19 pandemic raised this to a new level. As one of America’s largest construction companies, we believe it is our responsibility to help propel our industry forward.”
Designed to create more discussion around mental health awareness, acceptance and treatment options, the McCarthy Genuine Care program complements McCarthy’s digital and telemedicine mental health services and peer-support services. It combines strategies and practices across McCarthy’s safety, human resources and operations teams — all under the umbrella of the firm’s award-winning Build for Life health and wellness program.
Materials, resources and tools to emphasize and support mental health awareness on jobsites and in offices are available at any time through the company’s intranet and include toolbox talks on mental health, suicide prevention, and signage to increase awareness. Helpful information is also available for all employees and families through the McCarthy Employee Assistance Program. On jobsites, McCarthy provides hard hat stickers to all employees with important contact information while conducting meaningful discussions with all teams about the company’s approach to mental health, as well as immediately available resources.
Future program plans include adding more support, resources and training for managers and employees and considering an evidence-based mental health crisis response system.
“This focus on mental health awareness and support is crucial for the long-term success of our industry,” McCarthy President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Wittkop said, in a statement. “Similar to our industry’s united focus on physical safety, we believe this is something we must work on together. We are committed to this and are looking forward to partnering with others across the industry in this effort.”