Mental Health In The Construction Industry
It is no secret that the construction industry has a significant mental health challenge. The statistics, are quite shocking.
It has been estimated that people working in the UK construction industry are up to three times more likely to take their own lives than those in other sectors. A recent report by the Chartered Institute of Building found that 56% of construction professionals work for organisations with no policies on mental health in the workplace. These challenging statistics can be attributed to several factors, including lone working, work pressures and money worries.
So what can be done to help?
The first hurdle is tackling ‘The Stigma’. Despite plenty of positive movement towards gender diversity, the construction industry is still a male-dominated environment, particularly on building sites and, in general, men are not very good at opening up about their feelings and problems. Talking about mental health is half the battle and, if a problem isn’t shared, it isn’t halved — rather, it becomes compounded.
If you want to help yourself or others around you in your work place, start by getting people to open up and feel that it is completely normal and acceptable to talk about issues like financial worries, family troubles, addictions and loneliness. Work together with colleagues and management to create an environment where people can be themselves at work and speak out.
Fortunately there are some brilliant charity organisations working hard to make changes within the sector. Mates In Mind are one such initiative, educating and supporting firms at all levels from general staff up to management and director level on the issues surrounding Mental Health. If you feel your company needs some additional support, we recommend reaching out to them.