Mental Health at Work: Changing Culture in Construction
16th May 2023
It is estimated that at least 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, with men being more likely to suffer than women. When you look at the construction industry however – a male dominated industry – men are three times more likely to die by suicide than the national male average, equalling two construction workers every day.
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is anxiety, which almost a third of workers in the construction industry are reported to suffer from.
Construction can be a very stressful environment to work in when you consider the long hours and tight deadlines, not to mention the current cost of living crisis putting increased financial pressures on us all. In addition to this, there is often an underlying ‘macho’ culture within construction which prevents many workers from seeking support when it is needed most.
Managing mental health in the workplace isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Education and training are key to eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health and while the work to transform the industry has already begun, there is still a long way to go and we at SIMIAN are committed to helping in any way we can.
So how can we look to fix this? There are several ways that businesses can provide support and education to their employees, not only to help those dealing with poor mental health themselves, but to also aid management and operatives in identifying the signs of struggle so they are able to offer help at the earliest stage.
Ongoing training, raising awareness, improving lines of communication between employees and managers, as well as providing access to counselling and support groups all contribute to a company culture which values good mental health and encourages workers to seek help if they are struggling.
It’s essential to take a proactive approach in addressing poor mental health which will not only benefit the workers but result in a far safer, more productive, and successful industry for all.
Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
Mates In Mind – https://www.matesinmind.org/
Construction Industry Helpline – https://www.constructionindustryhelpline.com/
Lighthouse Club – https://www.lighthouseclub.org/
Mental Health Helplines
Samaritans: 116 123
Mind: 0300 123 3393
SANEline: 0300 304 7000
Rethink Mental Illness: 0300 5000 927
Anxiety UK: 03444 775 774
Addaction: 0800 177 833