Mental Health in Construction
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.
Productivity aside, it’s been proven that the risk of suicide amongst construction workers is three times higher than the male national average.
innDex is actively involved in the mission to eliminate the stigma associated with opening up about mental health, collaborating with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity.
The charity provides a 24 /7 Construction Industry Helpline which is the first point of contact to access a range of free and confidential support services providing information, advice and guidance on a variety of wellbeing issues including stress, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The charity also offers a series of free online wellbeing training sessions with topics such as coping with stress, work-life balance and financial management.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY?
- Long hours on site and travelling to and from work
- Heavy workload and pressure to complete project on time and budget
- Projects are often far from home and mostly short-termed (added pressure of expectations of having to provide for one’s family)
- And Now! – The extra stress and pressures introduced by Covid-19. Although construction has been one of the few industries that is still going strong during the pandemic, it’s not been easy to adapt to the current situation as many people cope with working from home or being furloughed.
LEARN TO RECOGNISE THE SIGNS OF POOR MENTAL HEALTH AND ENCOURAGE WORKERS TO OPEN UP.
- Agitation and increased interpersonal conflict among co-workers
- Increased voluntary and involuntary attrition
- Increased feelings of being overwhelmed
- Decreased problem-solving ability.
- Increased lateness, absenteeism and presenteeism (showing up to work physically, but not being able to function)
- Decreased productivity due to distraction and cognitive slowing
- Lack of self-confidence
- Isolation from peers
WHAT CAN WE DO?
- Download the innDex app for front end support and guidance from the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity on a number of issues before situations escalate to crisis point.
- Promote the 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline so that people know where to turn to for help for free and confidential specialist support.
- Encourage everyone to treat mental health as seriously as physical health.
- Engage with wellbeing training sessions so that people can recognise the early signs of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems within their workers and co-workers, and know what support is available and how to access it.
- Adopting digital tools can save time spent writing up and collating information.
64% of construction workers want their employers to provide more support in this area, and those employers need to sit up and listen.
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