Hard Talks In Hardhats was founded in October 2020 by Michael Ybarra, an electrician from San Antonio, Texas. He had struggled with depression, anxiety, and a mood disorder for years and struggled finding a way to take care of his mental health while working in the field. He had a small community of incredible friends he worked with that always took care of him, but he wondered: what about the guys that might not be so lucky to have that kind of bond? After listening to a webinar on mental health awareness in the construction industry and hearing statistics that he was far from one of the only ones who might be struggling, Michael decided he wanted to do something to help. He began taking classes from a mental health nonprofit learning how to engage in conversations about mental health and become active in the community raising awareness about mental health issues. With that, Hard Talks In Hardhats was founded in October 2020.
The mission of Hard Talks In Hardhats is to help raise awareness of mental health and mental health issues that affect the construction industry. We hope to break down the stigma around talking about mental health and help build community on jobsites where all our brothers and sisters in construction can lean on each other for support and know they’re not alone in their struggles with depression, anxiety, trauma, and anything else they may deal with. Together, we can help lower suicide rates and improve the lives of everyone in the trades.
Our first focus is helping raise awareness of different mental health issues, so people can know what kind of mental health issues exist, and know that they’re not alone in what they feel. We’re also compiling a list of resources to reach out to for help, be it therapy, medication, rehabilitation, or just people to lean on. Our list of resources is constantly growing and being updated as we find them.