Every year, one in four people in the UK will experience either stress, anxiety or depression. In the most extreme cases, these issues can result in someone taking their life. As a result of the growing understanding of the impact of mental ill health and the role employers can play, the Health in Construction Leadership Group, with the support of the British Safety Council, are setting up a sector-wide programme to help employers address this issue. The aim of this programme will be to help raise awareness and understanding of poor mental health in the construction sector, importantly undertaken in a way that is consistent and made available to all workers across the sector. It is estimated that there are 2.5 million people employed in construction in the UK.
Announcing it today on international World Suicide Prevention Day, Clive Johnson, Chair of the Health in Construction Leadership Group, said: “The mission of HCLG as a group is to unite the construction industry in order to eradicate the ill health and disease caused by work-related activities, and this includes addressing mental health. It is estimated that the number of deaths from suicide in the construction industry could be 10 times higher than those from fatal accidents at work. Working together with the British Safety Council and key partners in the construction industry and mental health, we believe we can make a significant difference.”
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Health in Construction Leadership Group in launching this important initiative. In the last few years, we have all become far more aware of the pressing need to address health issues, and particularly mental health, in the workplace. The British Safety Council’s vision is that no-one should be injured or made ill at work, and that includes mental health. The construction sector has previously come together to address the challenge it faced in relation to the high number of accidents. It is now coming together to do the same in relation to occupational health. A significant number of our members are operating in this sector. We can be even more impactful by working together, creating the opportunity to build understanding and take action.”
It’s anticipated that Mates in Mind will be collaborating and working with a number of the recognised organisations in this field in the delivery of the programme.
According to CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), in 2013, male suicide accounted for 78% of all suicides in the UK and is the single biggest cause of death in men aged 20-45 in the UK. Furthermore, the Samaritans report released this year (2016) states that men remain more than three times more likely to take their own lives than women across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
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