Home News Quarter of construction workers have considered suicide

Mental ill-health is a silent crisis within the construction industry with a quarter of workers considering suicide according to a new survey from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). The report highlights that the the way the industry currently operates can be stressful and may contribute to poor mental health and wellbeing.

CIOB research, Understanding Mental Health in the Built Environment, found that a quarter of construction employees in the UK have considered taking their own lives, and between 2011 and 2015, more than 1,400 construction workers died by suicide.

Workers often suffer in silence, and the ‘macho’ culture of simply dealing with it and not seeking help only makes the issues worse. Not only does this impact the individual who is dealing with poor mental health, but it affects their friends, families, colleagues, and the productivity of the business.

In recent years, mental health and wellbeing has attracted more attention in the media, leading to increased public and business awareness. However, this issue still pervades the construction industry, affecting decision-making from boardroom through to site.

This report sheds light onto the current state of mental health within the industry. In the CIOB survey of over 2,000 construction industry professionals, it found stress (97%) to be the most common mental health issue felt over the past year. The number of respondents that had experienced some form of mental health issue over the past year was extremely high, and we identi ed several factors that contributed to respondents’ poor mental health.

The CIOB said that the industry adopts a holistic approach in addressing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Andy Mitchell, co-chairman of the Construction Leadership Council, said in a statement: “The last two months have been some of the most difficult for the Construction Industry, and yet could be some of the most defining.

“There is widespread acknowledgement of the risk that the current pandemic poses to the mental health of employees with Mind reporting significant increases in people seeking help with no history of mental health issues prior to this pandemic as just one example.

The CIOB and the Lighthouse Club have teamed-up for Mental Health Awareness Week, which began yesterday, to offer a series of free, live webinars to the construction community.

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Club, said: “We’re proud to be partnering with the CIOB to ensure that as many people as possible can access these free online wellbeing courses, being delivered to support Mental Health Awareness Week.”

To register for the webinars, visit the CIOB Academy web site.

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