1 in 4 Construction Workers have Contemplated Suicide

Builders have a “significantly elevated risk” of suicide. (British Journal of Psychiatry) Recent research by construction news has found one in four construction workers have contemplated suicide, with this rising to one in three for junior and graduate employees.

The stress construction workers feel often comes from pressures such as meeting targets, deadlines and having enough money, even factors like bad weather can have a large effect on stress due to it interfering with numerous weeks of work in the winter months.

By companies simply listening to their employees and encouraging conversations about issues that may be causing stress, we can start to overcome these elevated risks of poor mental health in construction.

Legislation is already in place to protect employees who are under stress, to overcome mental health issues in the workplace and to safeguard against workplaces that do not have an appropriate environment and suitable support to help those who need it.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires all employers to ensure the health and safety and welfare of all of its employees. In addition to this, employers are required to make sure that the health of employees returning to work after illness are returning to a safe environment that will not hinder their mental health. (Campbell, F 2006)

In addition to this, the ISO standard includes guidelines that ensure the working environment is non-discriminatory and calm, stress reducing, there is emotional protection and that it is psychologically sound for work.

Stress reduction programmes have been shown to effectively reduce stress in employees, with personal burnout rates dropping by nearly 50% after stress interventions.

Altruist Enterprises are an experienced provider of Mental Health First Aid training to the manufacturing and construction industries. To find out more, click here

Sabrina is an MSc Psychology student and the University of Birmingham. She is passionate about increasing awareness around mental health to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic, and also to help people better understand how they can help those suffering from a mental health problem.

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