Behavioral Health | Community

With construction underway on the future site of a state-of-the-art, 144-bed behavioral health hospital in Greenville, ECU Health’s Behavioral Health team visited the site for a mental health safety discussion with Thomas Construction.

ECU Health’s service line administrator for Behavioral Health Glenn Simpson visited the construction site during National Safety Week in the construction industry. This year, the focus is on mental health.

Simpson said one in five adults will experience a mental illness, and the construction industry has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, where 53 of every 100,000 workers in the United States die by suicide. That rate is four times greater than the national rate.

He said it’s as important to checking in on your own mental health as it is to check in on those around you.

ECU Health’s service line administrator for Behavioral Health Glenn Simpson speaks to the Thomas Construction team to share important information on mental health.

“The construction industry especially has an extremely high rate of suicide. We know that it’s tough work that they’re doing,” Simpson said. “We’re so grateful for Thomas Construction, not only for the work they’re doing here at the site but for inviting us out for this discussion today. The message is important for everyone, but especially for this group here. It’s OK to reach out and ask for help.”

During the event, breakfast, t-shirts and mental health resources were distributed to the Thomas Construction team.

Chris Thorn, a health care team leader for Thomas Construction, helped set up the event. He said between National Safety Week, Mental Health Month and the team building a behavioral health hospital, the opportunity to hear from a professional and share resources worked perfectly.

“It can be a sensitive topic, especially in the construction industry, but ignoring mental health is not an option,” Thorn said. “These conversations are important for us to keep things moving in a more positive direction for our industry and letting our people know they have resources available to them.”

Simpson agreed and said it’s important to normalize conversations around mental health to reduce stigma.

“There’s still so much stigma attached to mental illness and substance use disorders,” Simpson said. “The more we can educate and make people feel OK about talking about those things, the greater impact we’ll have on turning some things around.”

During the event, Simpson promoted the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline as well, which offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress.

The lifeline is available nationwide and connects callers with a trained professional in the state from which they are calling. North Carolina residents contacting the 988 services are connected to a team in Greenville. The lifeline offers free and confidential support and can also help callers connect with nearby services.


ECU Health Behavioral Health Services

ECU Health, Acadia Healthcare host groundbreaking ceremony for new behavioral health hospital

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline