Sector urged to listen over mental health

Charity urges firms to encourage and support employees as it reveals two construction workers take their own life every week

Credit: iStock – Milanvirijevic

Six out of 10 construction workers have suffered mental ill health because of their work, according to a report released on Mental Health Awareness Day by Mates in Mind.

The charity added that two workers in construction-related professions took their own lives every working day and it called for industry leaders and government to be ‘more considerate and consistent’ on the issue.

Last year, the number of deaths by suicide in the UK rose to 6,507 – the highest since 2002 – according to the Office for National Statistics. ‘We are deeply concerned to see a rise in this figure, despite the attention that has been given to suicide prevention and increased awareness of mental health in recent years,’ said Mates in Mind managing director James Rudoni.

Interest in the subject has intensified in the past three years and understanding is improving, he said, but organisations need to ‘listen, encourage and support employees, rather than simply running short-term awareness campaigns or one-off training’.