Over 48% of construction workers take time off due to stress, and mental health issues. That's nearly half! Not only is this a concern as those affected are in poor health, and suffering with worry, it costs the industry millions.
And with the worrying statistics on suicide in male dominated industries, one must ask, what is really the biggest risk in Construction? Still working at height? I doubt it.
And whilst initiatives to improve working conditions and reducing stress are key to the successful improvement of mental health, I don't feel the issue is truly being dealt with at source.
How do we get our men talking? How do we separate the culture of camaraderie and genuinely being their for peers?
Often, businesses want to improve, but don't know what to do. And it is far from having an open door policy and a confidential helpline to call. The real benefit is in our proactive measures and not just the reactive. Would you know how to spot the signs of depression? Or what to say if someone came to tell you they felt suicidal? How you say and act at this crucial time, especially if it is the first time they've felt able to speak up, is absolutely crucial to the persons wellbeing.
Mental health awareness training can really help arm Supervisors and Managers to look out for the signs, and provide help and assistance early on to help prevent a worsening of health. Mental health awareness training is available as a simple e-learning course via Chameleon Safety Services Ltd.
SHP Online has an excellent article on Suicide and mental health that you can find here
Written by: Hayley Tollervey