How McCarthy Building Companies supported its construction workforce with Lyra
McCarthy Building Companies takes a collaborative approach to safety at its worksites and in its offices. For McCarthy, construction site safety extends beyond physical health to include mental health and overall well being – and for good reason: the construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates compared to other industries, about four times higher than the general population.
As a one-hundred percent employee-owned company, McCarthy’s HR and leadership teams asked themselves who they would trust to care for their own families and launched Lyra to enable employees and their families to access providers faster, get resources and services beyond therapy, and because they saw Lyra as a vendor that was a true partner.
Whole Family Mental Health Care was Paramount to McCarthy
“Access to care was really becoming a challenge – specifically for children trying to seek a therapist or a counselor. Families were waiting four to six months for an initial visit, and in the end it was about reducing the number of days to get care.” said Kristyn Cantu, Director of Total Rewards. “The model that Lyra offered really was the right solution for us because it allowed us to circumvent our old EAP’s long wait times and go a different route.”
“It’s really hard, as a parent and working in HR, to get a phone call or direct email from an upset employee because they can’t get care for their child. We started hearing more and more about not being able to get care for children; it was top of mind. It’s pairing the field that we’re in and what we do, and then trying to get our employees the best care possible,” said Elizabeth Tuffli, Benefits Specialist.
Understanding Cost Shifting Illuminated the Value of Lyra
When making the recommendation to its benefits selection committee, the McCarthy Total Rewards team found that Lyra aligned with McCarthy’s values and their commitment to support their employees. “We showed the side-by-side of the current costs, future costs, and how the medical plan’s costs fit into the mix.We were able to illustrate how the medical costs would be invested in employees to get access to mental health care sooner – when they needed it – which was our goal, as an employee-owned company,” said Cantu.
Finding a True Partner in a Vendor was Necessary for McCarthy
“When we’re evaluating a vendor we need to understand who they are so that we know that they can fulfill our needs, and we will have a great experience. They’re an extension of our team. We pride ourselves on exceptional service and that’s non-negotiable. It’s our number one priority to ensure our employees have a great experience with their benefits,” said Cantu.Lyra took the time to really learn about McCarthy’s employees and their specific needs, which gave the company confidence to move forward. The partnership was put into action immediately, when one of McCarthy’s job sites experienced a serious incident, leading some employees to seek mental health care prior to Lyra’s official launch date. Lyra was able to flex and work with McCarthy’s unique situation to ensure that the affected employees could access care early, in a seamless way, during a time when they needed it most.
McCarthy’s Employees were Enthusiastic about Access to Mental Health Care
“We launched in January, but we started communicating the prior fall. It was like, imagine you’re outside of a concert or a store that’s just opening and people are banging down the door. That’s what it felt like in November and December – people are saying, ‘Is it available yet? Can we get it yet?’ The excitement was really, really amazing,” said Cantu.
Physical Safety and Mental Safety Go Hand in Hand in the Construction Industry
McCarthy understands deeply that physical safety is directly tied to mental safety and they’re building a culture of wellness by weaving mental health into all of their work. Company leaders incorporate mental health topics into national communications and on their internal company website, supervisors have access to flyers and fact sheets on topics like PTSD, that they can reference in their morning safety huddles on job sites, training teams connect Lyra resources to psychological safety, and the HR team keeps the conversation relevant – bringing in Lyra providers to lead employee workshops for Construction Safety Week in May.
A group of McCarthy employees became certified in mental health first aid and emerged as mental health advocates. They’re available when people need someone to talk to, help connect people to available resources, and incorporate healthy habits into the workday. Furthermore, several employees have shared their own personal stories to humanize the conversation around mental health in an industry where workers physically and mentally give so much.