World Mental Health Day 2018

8th October 2018

World Mental Health Day 2018, RVT Group

Mental health issues are prevalent within the construction industry. In fact, just last year the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of suicides among those working in construction trades, "was the highest of any profession between 2011 and 2015".

With construction being a predominantly male industry where bravado prevails, mental health is rarely discussed. But even if it is, employers often don't have a mental health policy in place to effectively manage any cases that arise.

This is where the industry needs significant reform.

World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness, share knowledge and show support to those affected by mental health issues, whether directly or indirectly.

What's the cause of mental health in construction?

  • Long hours
  • Tight project deadlines
  • Contracted projects leading to uncertainty of steady income
  • Extended time away from home leaving family and friends
  • High-risk activities on site jeopardising workers' health and safety
  • Lack of job security
  • 'Tough guy' mentality meaning emotions are internalised

What symptoms may develop if mental health is poor?

  • Tiredness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lateness / absenteeism
  • Poor productivity
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Lack of confidence
  • Isolating oneself
  • Irritability
  • Substance abuse
  • Signs of depression

How can mental health issues be managed?

  1. Remove the stigma around mental health – make it as important as physical health
  2. Have a mental health policy in place and provide staff training on managing mental health issues
  3. Encourage regular breaks in a social open environment
  4. Maintain regular interaction with employees, asking questions that will highlight if something needs to be addressed
  5. Create internal support groups and educate them for greater awareness, understanding and support

Charities such as Mates In Mind, whose aim is to improve positive mental wellbeing in the UK construction industry, have a wealth of information and resources for employers and employees alike. Make use of them and play your part in minimising the damage mental health issues have on the construction industry.

Mental health need not be swept under the carpet or ignored, so join us in support of World Mental Health Day on the 10th October 2018.



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