October 10th is World Mental Health Day, which provides an opportunity to discuss the work that still needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. This years theme is ‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World‘.
Mental health awareness is particularly important in Construction as data released by Office for National Statistics in 2017 contained some shocking information about suicide in our industry.
More than 1,400 construction workers took their own lives between 2011 and 2015. The number of suicides among those working in construction trades was the highest of any profession over that period. The statistics also show that the risk of suicide for those working in building and construction trades was 1.6 times higher than the national average.
Construction News’ 2018 Mental Health Survey found that 65% of people working at companies with fewer than 100 employees have experienced mental health issues.
The survey also shows that 63% of people who have taken time off work due to mental health issues hid the real reason for their absence from their boss.
Awareness of mental health issues is slowly improving across the industry but there is still so much work to do. Gaysha has appointed Sam Norman as the first of our Mental Health First Aiders and we are working to raise awareness of Mental Health in our staff newsletters and Toolbox Talks.
Construction Industry Helpline 0345 605 1956 – managed and funded by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity
Mind, the mental health charity 0300 123 3393 – provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem
The Samaritans 116 123 – confidential 24-hour support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts