There is a growing global awareness for us to look after our Mental Health and as an employer we have realised our responsibility to look after our staff and those we are working with. Last week our Office Manager completed a 2 day Mental Health First Aid course, alongwith 6 other individuals.
Kelly found the course really interesting, and it highlighted to her the need for change, especially within the construction industry. When asked at the end of the course the two main things she would take away from the course she said the following:
- If you are concerned that someone is being effected by mental ill health ask them outright. People are more likely to open up and talk if you ask them directly.
- ALGEE – this is the action plan that Kelly was taught over the 2 day course:
A – Approach, assess for crisis, assist with crisis
L – Listen and communicate non-judementally
G – Give support and information
E – Encourage appropriate professional help
E – Encourage other supports
Here are a few statistics relating to Mental Health in the construction industry:
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. However, male site workers are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average male in the UK.
Suicide kills more construction workers than falls.
Depression and anxiety have overtaken musculoskeletal disorders in the construction sector.
In 2014, 4,623 men took their own life, which equated to one man every 2 hours.
According to the Office of National Statistics, between 2011 and 2015, of the 13,232 in-work suicides, the construction industry accounted for 13.2% of these. This comes despite the industry accounting for, at the time, roughly 7% of the UK workforce.
In 2016 454 construction workers committed suicide.
In a 2017 survey, 73% construction workers felt their employers did not recognise the early signs of mental health. Consequently, 23% of those surveyed were considering leaving the industry, in the next 12 months, due to poor mental health.
Despite mental health being reported frequently in other sectors, the construction industry has the lowest self-reported cases. Research suggests that employees who are absent are more likely to lie about the reason when it is related to mental health, as opposed to physical health. Some research states that 95% of those taking time off because of stress gave a different reason for their time off.
According to the National Building Specification, mental health accounts for people taking almost 70 million days off sick per year. This costs the UK economy an estimated £70 billion to £100 billion per year. Some estimate that the average UK employee costs £1,035 per year from sickness absence.
If you would like to talk to someone here’s a list of registered charities that are only a phone call away:
08444 775 774
Works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy.
Mental Health Foundation
020 7803 1101
Improving the lives of those with mental health problems or learning difficulties.
0300 100 1234
Offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support.
020 7336 8445
Provides information and advice for anyone with concerns about the mental health of a child or young person.