Looking behind the statistics of mental health issues in the construction industry make for tough reading
- Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than a fall from height
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50
- In the UK someone takes their own life every 2 hours
- Construction has the highest suicide rate of any profession
- Male construction workers are almost four times more likely to take their own lives than the national average
- A male dominated environment which increases risk because 75% of the people who take their own lives in the UK are men
Are men not seeking help that may often need? Do they not feel able to or perhaps not recognise that they are unwell? Is there still a stigma around discrimination? Are they unsure of the help that is available?
How can we all support a culture within the construction industry to promote wellbeing?
It is great to hear that so much is being done in this space to bring about a change to practices and support those who may need it. A strong message is getting into the industry that looking out for colleagues is important. Noticing changes to behaviour, spotting signs of distress and encouraging construction workers to take ownership of mental health. Keeping an eye out for mates and colleagues is just the start of a heightened sense of awareness of the problem. More great practice has been developed by way of adding mental health first aid representatives onto sites who are acting as the leaders of the cultural change and identifying and supporting anyone who is experiencing mental health difficulties.
Construction workers are some of the hardest working and most talented people in our country. Working closely with construction companies and construction workers to support their recruitment needs we really do feel close to the people who are building the UK.
After reading the content from a recent Expo, Martin Coyd told the audience that there is a history of men masking their feelings. They often find it hard to be honest about their incredibly low moods. He added that, feelings like this are often masked with drink and drugs usage.
The overwhelming concern is that the problem may get worse before it gets better. However, with even more awareness growing and the beginnings of some understanding about the issue, it will only start to improve.
We at Drayton Fox, want to support all construction workers for the incredible job they do – thank you for everything.