Mental Health Awareness Week: crisis in the construction sector

Three-quarters of those who work in the construction industry feel there isn’t enough being done in the sector to address mental health.

The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is 'Together we can tackle loneliness'.

One quarter of adults feel lonely some or all of the time, and the impact of many months of lockdown during the pandemic has taken a toll on people's mental health.

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Jake Mills, CEO of Liverpool based charity Chasing the Stigma, says: "The feeling of loneliness and the feeling of isolation can sometimes feel like you can't talk to anybody about what it is that you're going through.

“Struggling alone, struggling in silence, feeling that you can't share that. If anyone has ever gone through that, they'll tell you that even despite having a lot of people around them, they still feel really really lonely."

Construction workers on a building site. Image: stock.adobe.com

Research commissioned by Toolstation through the On The Tools network shows that 72% of those who work in the construction industry feel there isn't enough being done in the sector to address mental health.

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is a national organisation that provides emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families.

Sarah Bolton, director of charity services for Lighthouse Club, said: "Construction workers, unfortunately, have the highest suicide rate of any industry.

“It's around two a day, but we think it could be more than that. So we have lots of different support mechanisms that we offer out."

Lighthouse Club provide a free and confidential 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline - 03456051956

A free Construction Industry Helpline App complements the helpline. The charity also offers a variety of free construction focused training programmes.

Jake, from Chasing the Stigma, added: "Talking about mental health when it's good is going to be a lot easier than to talk about when it's not so good.

“If it's not so good, you can be much more aware of things you can do and steps you can take.

“If you ever need help or support, you can go onto the Hub of Hope and find national and local mental health support of all different kinds.”