World Mental Health Awareness Day took place yesterday, (10th October) and the construction industry have been making a stand in ensuring the well-being of workers is a top priority.
Shockingly, it has been reported that men in the construction industry who are regarded as low-skilled labourers, are a staggering three times more likely to take their own life, according to recent figures released by the ONS.
This is an issue the construction industry are working hard to address. Construction industry workers can often be on their own for extended periods of time, such as when using a digger, crane or tractor, which is not always beneficial to the worker and now individuals who are set to undertake certain jobs are being thought of with more care.
The ONS have estimated that factors relating to mental illness, such as stress, worry, anxiety and depression can equate to around 15 million sick days to be taken annually across the UK.
Not only is mental health potentially at enormous personal cost, the economy suggests a wider impact can also be seen. The cost of mental health in Wales was estimated to be a £7.9 billion in 2009, inclusive of NHS costs.
Productivity issues also come to light when mental illness strikes, and now first aiders are also being trained in mental health first aid, who can then use their learning to look out for other workers who may be struggling.
The construction industry is a broad collective that is made up of people from all backgrounds of life and who contain a vast array of skill sets, many managers are now ensuring their staff have every option to ensure the safety of their mental health.
Construction workers are coming together to overcome isolation and ensure a workforce community is in place that can help tackle any issues surrounding mental health, the construction industry are stepping up and ensuring suffering in silence is not an option in the sector.