Mental Health in the Construction Industry
Written by: Anna Barrett
As you may be aware 10th-16th May 2021 has been #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. I am one of Bugler’s Mental Health First Aiders, and am always keen to partake in mental health related seminars and events, as I feel there are always new things to learn on this topic.
This week the London Construction Programme hosted a webinar – Mental Health in the Construction Industry. There were a range of guest speakers who attended the webinar; Cosmur Construction, Good Thinking, The Lighthouse Club and Mates in Mind.
During the pandemic, 41% of all sick notes were mental health related. This statistic in reality is a lot higher as many individuals don’t feel as though they are able to speak up about their mental health in the workplace, in fear that they will be shamed or not taken seriously. Sadly this is something which effects many people within the construction industry.
This statistic also provoked thoughts on what employers can do in order to ensure their employees feel more comfortable in opening up about how they are really feeling. The speakers from Cosmur Construction went over what they do as a company around looking after employees’ mental wellbeing. Cosmur offer ‘quiet spaces’ for employees to gather their thoughts, within these spaces they have posters from local charities, or help lines for those in need to call. Alongside this they offer regular one-to-ones, corporate gym memberships and flexible working.
The above I feel are all great ways for not just those in the construction sector but all companies to incorporate and show their staff that they take mental health as seriously as physical.
A final thought I would like to leave with you is 3 out of 4 people who died from suicide did not reach out to charities or helplines. If every company offered and promoted more mental health resources maybe then we could help those who take their own lives.
For us at Bugler, mental health will be a key area of focus this year, and we will keep you updated with our 2021 initiatives in this space.