Over 700 construction workers die by suicide per year in the UK – equivalent to two construction workers every working day.
Mental health is a common struggle within the construction industry due to a range of factors, including long hours, straining work and financial issues. All these factors are exasperated in January when the festivities are over, money is tight, and we return to work.
Colemans has investigated a range of aspects when it comes to mental health within the construction industry, including silent discrimination, which can be common due to the ‘banter’ typically occurring on site. Research shows that 21% of construction employees have experienced bullying in the last year, and almost three in 10 say the bullying was regarded as ‘banter’.
There are some ways employers can help battle these issues, and support employees:
- Training and educating employees, including managers, on mental health and how to support those struggling.
- Implementing mental health procedures in the workplace, such as employee wellness programs, mental health first aiders, and check-in sessions.
Mark Coleman, Chief Executive at Colemans, shared his own experiences when it comes to mental health, and how Colemans is implementing mental health education and procedures within their company. He says, “Having experienced difficulties with my own mental health, I know how difficult this complex issue is for any modern-day business to understand and get right.
“For me and everyone here at Colemans, it started with cultural changes based around education, openness and understanding where it is necessary to have team members who are empathetic with high levels of emotional intelligence. We are working hard to change our own organisation’s attitudes and behaviours, even now after 10 years we are not there yet and I suppose we will never be perfect, making mistakes along the way. But as long as the culture, attitudes and behaviours are corrected as we go on, we will learn from our mistakes. We will improve and therefore have a positive impact on our people well well-being.”