UK Construction Week focuses on mental health needs in construction

  • 9 Oct 2019

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10th October, UK Construction Week is addressing mental health issues in the sector in response to research which suggests the industry wants more mental health support.

The most recent survey conducted last month on behalf of UK Construction Week revealed that over half of people in the construction industry have suffered mental health problems at one point in their lives.

In addition, the survey found that 6 out of 10 people (58%) working in construction have suffered from mental health problems due to their work.

Over a third of respondents (37%) admitted that they had taken time off at work due to their mental health, with only 64% of those telling their employer the reason why. 

When asked who they would turn to if they were to experience any mental health issues, most construction professionals felt they would be most comfortable talking to a dedicated mental healthcare professional (30%), followed by someone who they get on well with at work (27%).

However, most importantly, over half of all respondents (56%) felt there was more their organisations could be doing to support the mental health of workers. Of the support services that they thought would be most beneficial, top of the list was free counselling (39%) or flexible working (39%), followed by a dedicated trained person to speak to (35%), an on-site quiet space (27%), and an anonymous helpline (24%).

Some of these support services are provided by the mental health charities working in the construction industry, including Mates in Mind and the Lighthouse Club’s Construction Industry Helpline.

Nathan Garnett, event director at UK Construction Week, explained: “Awareness about the importance of mental health has grown throughout the construction industry in recent years. However, the industry still has a way to go in normalising open discussion about this aspect of health and wellbeing.

“That’s why we put together the Wellbeing Zone at this year’s UK Construction Week. We’re using the country’s largest construction event to host the industry’s biggest discussion and support initiative on mental health, swapping hard hats for hard chats.

“Through signposting to counselling, free employer advice and the simple sharing of stories, right through to yoga and meditation sessions, exercise and sporting challenges, this year’s UK Construction Week is designed to help as many people as possible, culminating on Thursday 10 October to celebrate World Mental Health Day.”

Wellbeing features at UK Construction Week include:

  • An installation of relaxing swings made by master craftsman Carwyn Jones, in a Wellbeing Zone full of advice and information on mental health support run in association with the NHS’s new Every Mind Matters initiative.
  • The launch of the Mind Your Head campaign, which features a ‘Material Support’ gallery, a collection of artwork made from construction components. There will be mental health experts who work in construction and practical advice available from an onsite therapist.
  • A multi-sports tournament and cup involving football, netball and touch rugby, organised with STEAM, a mental health charity which promotes wellbeing in construction through sport and exercise.
  • Free yoga and meditation sessions every morning of the show.
  • Free advice workshops for employers in the Working Well Together Theatre , including sessions on how to manage the issue of alcohol and drugs effectively in the workplace and mental health in the work place – an industry perspective. 

UKCW is one event with many sections, including Build sponsored by Easy-Trim, Building Tech, Civils, Energy and HVAC, Surface and Materials, and Timber. It also features Concrete Expo (8-9 October only) and Grand Designs Live (9-10 October only). Single registration gives free access to all areas of the show.

Last minute tickets are still available here.

Contact:

Media 10 Limited,
Crown House,
151 High Road,
Loughton,
United Kingdom,
IG10 4LF

Phone: 020 3225 5200
Fax: 020 3225 5202

Visit UK Construction Week's website

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