Addressing Mental Health in the Construction Industry

What You Need to Know

Did you know that in the UK, approximately 700 construction workers take their own lives each year? That’s a staggering minimum of two lives lost every single day. This grim reality sheds light on the profound impact of mental health challenges within our industry.

Several unique factors contribute to these high suicide rates:

‍♂️ Male-Dominated Industry: Outdated beliefs around toughness and vulnerability contribute to the stigma surrounding mental health discussions, particularly among male-dominated professions like construction.

⚠️ High-Risk Environments: The inherently stressful and physically demanding nature of construction work can exacerbate both physical and mental health challenges.

⏰ Long Working Hours: Extended hours compromise work-life balance and increase stress levels, affecting overall well-being.

Job Insecurity: Seasonal fluctuations and market instability add financial pressure, compounding stressors in personal lives.

As business leaders, we must take proactive steps to address these challenges. Here are three areas where we can focus our efforts:

1️⃣ Raise Awareness and Educate: Increasing awareness and educating our teams about mental health challenges and burnout signs are crucial steps in dismantling stigma and encouraging early intervention.

2️⃣ Regular Check-Ins: Implementing monthly check-ins between managers and team members fosters open communication and provides opportunities for support.

3️⃣ Promote Work-Life Balance: Prioritising work-life balance and limiting excessive overtime are essential for reducing stress levels. This shouldn’t require legislation but rather a proactive effort from companies to support their employees’ well-being.

While providing access to wellness resources like Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) may not always be feasible for small businesses, there are numerous free resources available in the UK:

Mind: Offers a range of resources, including information on mental health conditions and access to support through their Infoline.

Samaritans: Provides confidential emotional support through a 24/7 helpline for anyone struggling to cope.

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): Focuses on preventing male suicide and offers support through a helpline and webchat.

Headspace: An app offering guided meditation and mindfulness exercises to help reduce stress.

Woebot: A free app assisting with stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques.

Let’s join forces to prioritise well-being within our workplaces. Together, we can break the silence surrounding mental health and work towards preventing suicide in the construction industry.  ️

If you’re at all concerned about the health and well-being of your workforce, please get in touch for a confidential chat about what can be done.

You can book a FREE 30-minute consultation with Helen Price-Evans our HR Guru in the Starfish People Virtual Meeting Room by using the link or scanning the QR code below.

#mentalhealthawareness #constructionindustry #wellbeingatwork

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