Statistics from Construction News Mental Health Survey show that 55% of workers in the construction industry have suffered from mental health and 42% of whom had been in the work place at the time. The Office of National Statistics found that low-skilled male construction workers are at greater risk than average of suicide, at 3.7 times above the national average. Further research was conducted by The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity who initiated a campaign to highlight the issues of mental health within the industry and have revealed that two construction workers take their own life every single working day in the UK with stress, anxiety and depression accounting for a fifth of all work-related illness. These alarming figures have triggered a responsive reaction from companies around the UK.
The report by Thriving at Work showed that the poor handling of mental health costs employees around £33 billion and £42 billion per year, through sick leave, treatment and lack of well-being management.
Guidance for mental health in construction would also improve the quality of work, attitude in the work place and relationships between workers. Employees who are in good physical and mental state are more likely to be more engaged, resilient and productive.
Health programs are encouraged around industry standards to ensure the most effective output possible and is suitable for all employees.
The programs should act on the following:
- To raise awareness and understanding and to promote positivity through workshops and encouraging more conversation in the workplace.
- Allowing access to Mental Health First Aid and signpost workers to offer support.
- Encouraging education and guidance from peers and Building Mental Health partners.
Programs as such would show stability within the community, as companies are striving to not only stick to the framework obligations, but to go above and beyond to ensure that all members have access to mental health experts and councillors.
In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here