Trades workers at a greater risk
than any other profession
If you knew there was an illness that was killing thousands of construction workers, almost undetectable to the untrained eye; would you want to know the cause?
Of course you would.
You might be shocked to find that suicide is to blame, causing more deaths in workers in trades and skilled labour roles than with fatal accidents on site*.
On hearing that suicides in construction were 3.7 times above the national average**, we were surprised too; what could cause such high numbers, in comparison to what some may consider very stressful jobs, such as roles in Management?
The construction work force could suffer from a number of stress factors; for example long working hours, separation from family and job insecurity. To make matters worse, the majority of these workers are male and are also not known for talking freely about their feelings quite as much as women are; with women in all occupations having under a quarter of the suicide rate that males do in the survey by the Office for National Statistics***.
Martyn Makinson, ionic Recruitment Managing Director says “With one in four construction workers having considered taking their own life at some point****, we need to do what we can to ensure that the construction industry is a safe environment for all workers on site. The whole work force should have the knowledge to recognise the signs of depression and anxiety, and reach out to those that are having trouble.
“This is why as a recruitment business, we want to do more towards protecting the Trades community to reduce these figures as much as possible, by listening to our candidates and recognising the signs of anxiety and depression that can lead to a serious mental health problem; and providing them with the helplines they need.
“Websites like Mates in Mind are a great resource and provide training for workers to help each other, so no families are missing a husband, a father or a grandfather to something that can be avoided.”
The information below is sourced from Mates in Mind a brilliant resource tailored to improving mental health in Construction. Mates in Mind do not offer advice, however see details provided by them below on services and organisations that offer help and support directly.
If you are concerned that you are developing a mental health problem you should seek the advice and support from your GP as a matter of priority. If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should visit your local A&E.
Are you looking for information for a colleague or have something you need to talk about? See our links below:
24 hours a day. Talk to them any time you like day or night, every day of the year, in your own way, and confidentially – about whatever’s getting to you. Whatever it is, give them a call, you don’t have to be in crisis. It’s free, no charge.
Provides information and support on a range of topics including types of mental health problems and where to get help. Their lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays). Calls are charged at local call rates.
Construction Industry Helpline
Provides support and advice on a range of topics, ranging from health and wellbeing to financial aid including accident, illness and bereavement. Calls cost 5 pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.
Other places to find support
Time to Change provides a list of useful help-lines and information about mental health and includes helplines for family, friends and carers of people with mental ill health.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (C.A.L.M.) operates a helpline for only men that listens, supports and signposts to where to go for help. You can call them between 5pm to Midnight everyday of the year and it’s free. Tel: 0800 58 58 58
Often organisations have Employee Assistance Services (EAP) which are free services for employees to support your mental health and give advice on financial and legal concerns too. Check your company websites, check with HR or a manager, or look in your staff handbooks.
Here’s a list of websites and information you might find helpful.
Comprehensive information on all health including mental health issues
Your local NHS psychological services
If you’re worried that you might need time off work, speak to your GP or visit
Support for disabled people
Support and advice on money, employment, housing, rights and legal issues
Check with the National Suicide Prevention Alliance for further organisations
If you’re part of a trade union you can also contact your union representative.