Utah Community Builders establishes new industry-specific guides to support mental wellness

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (MAY 5, 2022) – Utah Community Builders, the social impact foundation of the Salt Lake Chamber, along with business and community leaders debuted three new resource guides today for the construction, legal and hospitality industries. Each guide contains industry-specific data, best practices, and actionable steps for businesses to improve the mental and emotional wellness of their employees.

“We all recognize the impact of mental health on the individual and their loved ones is paramount,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “As business leaders, we have a responsibility to promote mental and emotional well-being in the workplace and we should never underestimate the role we play in our employees’ mental health. By making a plan and taking a stand against stigma, businesses can save countless lives and ensure Utah’s workforce is resilient, mentally and emotionally fit, and ready for the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

These guides build on the previous launch of the first Suicide Prevention in the Workforce Employer Toolkit, a blueprint for fostering a culture of mental fitness and strengthening resilience in the workforce.

There are three common themes in each of the guides:

  • Leader modeling: Organizational change that starts at the top has the best chance for success. And since mental health can be a difficult or awkward subject in the workplace, setting an example and talking about mental health can set the stage for workplace culture to support mental fitness.
  • Manager Training: Equipping managers with the necessary skills and training empowers them to help make the workplace an environment that values mental health and addresses it openly. This builds trust in company leaders and creates an environment where employees feel supported, and also boosts loyalty.
  • Employee Resources: It is vital that employees are made aware of the resources available to them — both the publicly available crisis intervention resources, as well as everything a business provides through health insurance, HR, Employee Assistance Programs and more. Many of these resources can be found in the Suicide Prevention toolkit and the industry-focused guides, which refer to things like Live On Utah.

“We know that prevention works and treatment is effective,” said Allison Foust, suicide prevention program administrator with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services and co-chair of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition. “Together we can make a difference by creating safe and supportive work environments for our employees, and prioritizing their mental health. We can do this by fostering environments that promote acceptance, respect, healing, and recovery.”

The toolkits were created in partnership with the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, Associated General Contractors of Utah, Utah Restaurant Association and Utah State Bar, and sponsored by Big-D Construction, Jacobsen Construction, Kirton McConkie, LUX Catering & Events and Parsons Behle & Latimer.

“In an industry challenged by high rates of mental illness, we can make a difference for our employees starting today,” said Kelly Lake, Managing Partner with Lux Catering & Events. “We can share resources, openly discuss mental health, model healthy practices that support resilience and mental fitness, and simply be kind.”

The event featured several leaders in each of the industries and shared how Utah’s business community is working to ensure we have the most resilient and mentally fit workforce in the nation.

To learn more, click here.