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“How Are You Really?" Essential Site Skills on Mental Health in Construction

Posted on Monday, 8th July 2024

“How Are You Really?" Essential Site Skills on Mental Health in Construction

Today, we want to address a topic that is profoundly heart-breaking and close to all our hearts—supporting the mental health of our teams in the construction industry. It is devastating to know that two people in our industry end their lives each day. Despite a national decline in suicide rates, the construction sector's numbers remain alarmingly high. These tragic losses are more than statistics; they represent real people—friends, family, and colleagues whose absence leaves a void that can never be filled. We must confront this issue head-on and take decisive action to change these tragic outcomes.

An Eye-Opening Experience with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity

Recently, we had the profound experience of filming with Andy Bishop and Rob Muldoon of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity during one of their #MakeItVisible site visits. Watching their unwavering dedication to helping those in crisis was nothing short of inspiring. It brought tears to our eyes and deeply moved everyone present. One particularly powerful moment struck us deeply: when asked if they had been affected by suicide, numerous hands were raised. This stark visual reminder drove home the gravity of the mental health crisis we are facing within our industry. It was a raw and emotional moment, revealing the often-hidden pain that so many carry with them. It made it clear that not everyone is "fine" as they say, and that we need to look out for one another more than ever.

The Power of Vulnerability and Mutual Support

This experience underscored the critical need for mutual support within our community. Standing up and being vulnerable is not easy, yet the courage displayed by the Lighthouse team is truly heroic. They are out in the field every day, making a significant difference for individuals who struggle in silence. This kind of support is not just admirable but essential. It’s a lifeline for many who may feel isolated and hopeless.

Shedding Light on Mental Health Support

Our goal in filming these moments was to highlight how businesses can better support their workers' mental health. Every employer must understand the value of this support. It’s not just about raising awareness—it's about saving lives. Each phone call made and every text sent could be the crucial step that prevents a tragedy. The impact of suicide extends far beyond the immediate loss. It’s estimated that each suicide deeply affects around 140 people, including family, friends, and colleagues. This ripple effect devastates communities and underscores why every single gesture of support matters.

The Devastating Impact of Suicide in Construction

The construction industry is particularly vulnerable to mental health issues due to its high-pressure environment, demanding work conditions, and often transient lifestyle. The culture of stoicism and the stigma surrounding mental health can prevent individuals from seeking the help they need. This contributes to the alarming suicide rates we see today. It's crucial that we break down these barriers and create a culture of openness and support. The devastating impact of each suicide is felt deeply across families, teams, and the broader community. The emotional toll is immeasurable, affecting productivity, morale, and overall well-being.

Our Upcoming Video: Stories of Hope and Heroism

Stay tuned for our full video, where we delve deeper into these stories and highlight the incredible efforts of those at the forefront of this battle. Every construction worker deserves to know they have free, accessible support available. We aim to echo the Lighthouse Charity's call to action: take just five minutes to check in on someone at work and ask how they are doing. The simple act of asking could mean more than you know.

Reach Out: Help is Available

For anyone struggling, or if you know someone who is, please reach out. The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity offers invaluable support:

  • Call 0345 605 1956
  • Text HARDHAT to 85258

Let's Create a Safer Community Together

We must continue to push for a safer, more supportive community. Share this information, talk about it during breaks, and make sure no one feels they have to cope alone. By fostering a culture of care and understanding, we can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and make a real difference in the lives of our colleagues.

Stay safe and look out for each other.