Tackling mental health challenges in the construction industry

For many, Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year – is now recognised to be nothing more than a PR stunt.

For others, every day may feel like Blue Monday – especially if you work in the construction industry.

Findings from a 2018 Construction News study found that 30% of respondents have taken time off work due to mental health issues or stress, and perhaps even more worryingly, 63% of those people did not tell their employer that the reason for their absence was mental health.

Last year, many in the construction industry were shocked to read that the suicide rate among low-skilled male labourers was three times higher than the national average for men.

The construction industry is certainly one that can be challenging – anxiety around job uncertainty (no doubt made worse by a looming fear of a no-deal Brexit), long and hard working days and lengthy periods working away from friends and family, mixed with a traditionally male workforce, can be a dangerous combination.

Many people find the hardest part of their mental health journey is taking the first step – opening up to somebody they trust. But although a regular topic in the media, the stigma around mental health can still be too much for many to even contemplate sharing their feelings with a peer.

It’s vital that employees know they’re supported, what they can do if they’re struggling and also know how they can spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues to support each other.

At BECG, we specialise in creating effective internal comms for clients within the construction industry as well as other built environment sectors including energy, transport, and property.

We understand the challenges that many construction companies face with a large, diverse and geographically spread workforce. We can work with you to plan and deliver effective communications that will engage your workforce. Whether it’s an emotive video to help convey a human story, or a poster campaign to encourage employees to take action or get involved – we can provide a solution for every need.

We’re also passionate about tackling the issue of mental health within BECG, helping to reduce the associated stigma and making sure we provide our own employees with support when needed. We believe that mental health is just as important as physical health.

On World Mental Health Day 2018, we launched our Mental Health First Aider initiative – providing trained volunteers to help support work life wellbeing across BECG – as well as giving practical skills to spot signs and symptoms, and the confidence to step up and support their colleagues if necessary.

If you’re thinking of launching a new internal comms campaign in 2019 and need some support – drop us a line, we’d love to chat.

Fiona.Harvey@becg.com
01962 893 861