Building wellbeing in Construction
October 10, 2018
The construction industry can be a stressful environment and employers are starting to wake up to the scale of the problem.
Industry leaders including chief executives from the UK’s largest construction companies have demanded urgent action on tackling mental health in the construction industry following “shocking” results from CN’s Mind Matters survey.
Looking specifically at the construction industry, did you know:
- 1 in 6 have a mental health problem such as stress, anxiety or depression, yet 1 in 5 fears that disclosure could cost us our job
- There are no absolutes. One person with a diagnosed mental illness can be in good mental health; while another with no diagnosed illness or disorder can be in poor mental health.
- In construction more workers die by suicide than by fall
This is more than double the national average. The mental health charity Mind, states one in four people across the UK will experience a mental health issue each year and one in six people will have that experience at their current place of work.
Simon Pearce Director of Simon Nicholas Associates states “ I’m not surprised by the results, due the nature of the industry and how male dominated it still is. Men feel less comfortable talking about mental health.”
The survey showed that 82% still say there is a stigma surrounding mental health in construction and many of those who have suffered admitting they had done so in silence.
Now is the time to look out for each other; simple things such as the following could really help a colleague:
- Check someone’s ok over a cuppa
- Call or text someone to ask how they’re feeling
- Go for a lunchtime walk with a workmate
- Stay away from words or phrases that could offend
- If it feels right, consider sharing your own experience
Mates in Mind
The British Safety Council and The Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) teamed up to launch Mates in Mind – the first UK-wide programme to promote positive mental health across the construction sector.
Mates in Mind aims to:
- Raise awareness and understanding of mental health and mental ill-health
- Help people to understand how, when and where to get support
- Break the silence and stigma through promoting cultures of positive wellbeing throughout the industry
Mates in Mind has an ambitious goal – to reach 100,000 workers in the first year, and by 2025, Mates in Mind aims to have reached 75% of the construction industry.
With current rising suicide rates, it is time to remove the barriers of mental health and ensure that construction workers are supported if they are facing difficulties with day-to-day activities.
If you or someone you know needs help or support then you can contact one of the following. Please don’t sit in silence.
Construction Industry Helpline 0345 605 1956– managed and funded by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity
Mind, the mental health charity Call 0300 123 339 or text or text 86463
The Samaritans116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): 0800 58 58 58
Prevention of Young Suicide – Papyrus: Call 0800 068 41 41 or text 07786 209697
Mental health matters in the construction industry, don’t suffer in silence