In the building trades, no one should struggle alone.
One of the first lessons you learn in a building trades apprenticeship is that asking for help is never a sign of weakness; it’s an essential skill. Maybe the most essential skill. If you don’t ask for help when you need it, problems get compounded, deadlines get missed, the project suffers, and most importantly, safety is greatly compromised for you and those around you.
Whether you need an extra hand to carry a heavy load, an extra set of eyes on a tricky installation, help troubleshooting malfunctioning equipment, or someone to hold a ladder, you’re sure to get it. Anyone who has ever worked in construction can attest that it’s a team sport. Work in the construction trades can never, and will never, be done alone.
And needing help can extend far beyond the physical. All trades workers, whether electrical workers, painters, plumbers, carpenters, masons, roofers, or other trades, face unique stressors that can take a toll on their mental health. Just like their need for help extends far beyond the physical, so does the support. The construction trades are renowned for their commitment to the safety, health, and well-being of their workers, both physically and mentally.
How so? Many unions and trade organizations offer mental health resources and programs to help and support their members. These can range from confidential counseling services to support groups to education and training on managing stress and anxiety. For example, SMART Union and Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), IUPAT has an initiative called Helping Hand, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has confidential mental health and addiction programs available to its members and their families at the local level. This is much, much more than other industries are doing!
There are also national organizations like the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that offer resources specifically tailored to those in the building trades.
And let's remember the power of peer support. In the trades, it’s a brotherhood and a sisterhood; tradespeople are known for the steadfast support they give each other through thick and thin. A culture of caring and having the help of someone who understands the unique challenges of working in the trades can make all the difference.
In the building trades, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you ever need help, no matter what that help is, know you will get it here.
Looking for a new career where you know you’ll be supported no matter what circumstances you face, whether in your job or your personal life? Consider a career in the trades. Learn more and get started today!