Leading providers of roofing systems, RubberBond constructed a report to raise awareness of the mental health dangers facing the construction industry.
Major findings from the report found:
- Over 1,400 construction workers committed suicide between 2011 – 2015.
- Risk of suicide for those working in building and construction trades is 1.6 times higher than the national average.
- More than a quarter of construction employees have considered taking their own life.
- Workers admit to suffering in silence.
- Many within the industry suffer in silence due to cultural expectations.
- Many workers feel forced to “deal with it,” not seeking out the help they need, and symptoms get worse.
Data has shown than one in every seven workers knows a colleague who has taken their own life and many more workers have considered it.
Many surveys have looked at mental health in construction and deduced several reasons for why the sector may be suffering so badly.
Cultural expectations within the construction has led to workers suffering under a “deal with it” approach and many workers develop troubles that they feel they can not talk openly about.
Male workers in the industry choose not to turn to their employers due to the fear and stigma of opening up and alarmingly, 1 in 5 workers feel that their job would be at risk if they did talk about their struggles.
In addition, 45% of female workers have said their mental health was average to poor, 43% have admitted to experiencing reduced productivity and 75% have experienced disturbed sleeping patterns and lack of sleep.
After looking at the responses from multiple surveys on mental health in the construction industry, Rubberbond found three main areas of improvement to boost worker wellbeing.
Increased staff training to recognise early warning signs – 73% of respondents said their employers lacked this skill and is something which needs to be prioritised.
Awareness of mental health in the construction industry – 83% of workers have said that there is not enough information or help out there at the moment and believe this will decrease the stigma.
More outlets to share daily struggles – Two-thirds of workers believe this would help and a further 43% have asked for one of those outlets to be an anonymous helpline.