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Redefining Mental Health in Construction


Depression, anxiety, fear and a whole host of other mental health concerns are often treated with disdain and confusion in today’s world; people are becoming more and more bogged down by the daily grind of modern life.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 18.1% of adults in the United States alone will have some form of an anxiety disorder, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a phobia.

Balfour Beatty, Careys and Willmott Dixon will pioneer a ground breaking programme to tackle mental ill health in construction. It is estimated that the number of deaths from suicide in the construction industry could be 10 times higher than those from fatal accidents at work.

According to a recent survey undertaken by Construction News, 25% of respondents have contemplated suicide, this is an extremely high number. When queried about discussing mental health issues with employers, the majority hadn’t dared. There were many answers as to why, including embarrassment, admitting defeat and fear of job loss. Attitudes and judgements towards mental health need to change.

 A fresh perspective:

Various forms of anxiety and depression are said to be the highest form of mental illness in the United Kingdom. According to Sue Baker, nine out of ten people with mental health issues, have reported situations where they have been discriminated against. At least 73% of people believe that people who have a mental illness deserve the same employment opportunities as all other people.

The world is recognising that the mental health, is paramount to the success of people. The World Health Organisation has launched a plan known as the ‘Mental Health Action Plan’ from 2013 to 2020, which will hope to address and support mental illness worldwide. World Mental Health Day is on the 10th of October and aims to raise awareness around mental illness, whilst aiding people working in this field. Progress reports can be viewed and analysed and future progress can be discussed with sufferers and workers within Mental Health.

Wonder who to turn to?

If you are a sufferer, or know somebody who is suffering, remember that you are not alone with this situation. As stated by the Mental Health Foundation, one in four people will experience some form of a mental illness during their lifetime. Secondly, acceptance is a crucial step; attempting to research can help to gain a greater understanding of this illness as a whole and offer support or discussion where necessary.

Furthermore, seeking to build connections is valuable: get out and share your experiences, especially with those who are around you, hoping to offer their support during this time. Finally, map out the road ahead, aside from finding the best treatment possible, looking up support programmes or alternative therapies to be used in conjunction with your current treatment plan.

There are numerous forms of support groups and therapies open to the patient, mental illness is not the end of the world, in fact it’s a chapter to a whole new world.



Getting support: 

Construction Industry Helpline: 0345 605 1956

MIND: 0300 123 3393

The Samaritans: 116 123




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