Shocking results from Construction News Mind Matters Survey
May 5, 2017
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.
Statistics from the Survey
- Over a quarter of construction employees said they had considered taking their own life, rising to one in three among junior members of staff and graduates.
- Of those who considered suicide and those who have known someone who has taken their own life, 90 % did not turn to their employer for support due to “fear & stigma”
- One in seven have known a colleague who has taken their own life
- 55 % of construction workers had experienced mental health issues and 41% had experienced these issues at their current place of work.
- A third (29 %) had taken time off work due to stress/mental health issues, but only 32 % of these respondents had given the real reason for their absence.
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. Us men feel less comfortable talking about mental health but that needs to change”
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.
ISG chief executive Paul Cossell said the results “add further hard data to the growing body of evidence that the construction industry has to address mental health issues with far greater rigour”.
He said: “This is an overwhelmingly people-based industry, and while great strides have been taken to protect our employees from physical harm, it is clear we have to redouble our efforts in addressing mental health issues.”
Construction News vowed to make mental health awareness one of its core themes in January 2017, launching the campaign, Mind Matters.
This came with perfect timing to our prime minister Theresa May and members of the Royal Family speaking out about mental health.
Mace Director of health and safety for construction Martin Coyd said CN’s survey showed the construction industry needs to improve its record fast.
He said: “The whole industry needs to work together if we want to see progress and make a difference year on year. I believe the industry is ready to tackle this and we have a great opportunity right now.”
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.
It’s time to break down the barriers of society. Please don’t sit there in silence.
Construction Industry Helpline0345 605 1956– managed and funded by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity
Mind, the mental health charity0300 123 3393– provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem
The Samaritans116 123– confidential 24-hour support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts