Mental Health within Construction
10 May 2017
May is mental health month and we have seen a lot in the news about the effects, short and long term, to those who suffer with mental health problems.
The construction industry has its own issues. Construction News posted the results of their 'Mind Matters' survey and the results were shocking. Over 55% of those that responded have experienced mental issues in their lives. Even more alarming is that 1 in 4 respondents has considered taking their own life. That is a quarter of our construction workforce!
The data showed that those working within the construction area were 63% more likely die by suicide than the national average. These are scary numbers indeed.
The fact that many managers see time off as 'slacking' because of lack of evidence for mental illness shows that workers are not adequately supported. With mental health being in the news at the moment it's a great opportunity to improve our efforts in supporting our construction staff. However, the fact that construction is a male dominated industry, and males are notorious for not being able to discuss their mental health issues means we have a huge task on our hands.
So how can you help your co-workers?
Keep a look out for the warning signs:-
- Encourage people to talk, let them know you are there if they need you
- Don't make assumptions, ask them what they are feeling
- Respect their confidentiality, don't pass on what they tell you
- If they don't want to speak at that time, let them know you will be there when the time is right for them
- Small gestures like thanking people for their work or making the tea/coffee and asking about plans outside of work
Support for Mental Health
- Construction Industry Helpline: 0345 605 4956
- Mind, the mental health charity: 0300 123 3393
- The Samaritans: 116 123
- SHP resources: www.shponline.co.uk/in-focus-mental-health