Construction industry suffers from highest number of suicides, report finds

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mental health
ID 119289692 © Artur Szczybylo | Dreamstime.com

A report which looks into the mental health statistics for the construction industry has found that the sector suffers from the highest number of suicides of any profession

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.
mental health
An info graphic detailing mental health issues in the construction industry

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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi guys,
    I read this article randomly and fell into it as I am a builder myself.
    I’m currently going through a lot of stress anxiety insomnia gastric problems you name it the list goes on not to mention thoughts about how it could all be over and you would be in a better place. ( this is not the answer)
    No matter how bad your situation after the rainfall the sun must shine. People who are out there love you they need you you might have children you might have problems with there baby mother you may even have no children and think it is easier to just end it all.
    But you need to ask yourself why?
    Why should I end it all?
    Was I put on this planet for a purpose what would the future be like with my children saying that’s daddy looking up on the mantle piece at a photo of you. Whilst your grandmother or mother explains how good you where how people loved you or even if you where just plain boring who cares we are all different but the main principle is we are loved you are loved ….
    We have struggles sometimes in life maybe a customer is difficult maybe they have made up lies to try and make a gain for themselves ( trust me )
    I’m going through a very difficult moment right now in life but you really need to ask yourself is it worth my life ( no) nothing is worth your life you might owe money to co-workers ok they’ll deal with it haven’t you by the customer so ask yourself what is the difference?
    All I can say is take step by step through making a tough time manageable and over come your worries and fears by speaking to people around you don’t isolate yourself please don’t feel like there is no way out no other options so what if you fail good fail big fail huge then master your skill set and hit that road again but next time do it with passion don’t let the fight go keep fighting we are all gladiators in our right minds….
    Construction is the hardest industry to be in my personal preference because we are not just builders we are life coaches listeners psychiatrists ( for some customers haha)
    We are the mediums the negotiators the worriers the warriors we are everything wrapped up into one and we build this planet
    So tap your selves on the back remember we are all warriors and forget this bullshit im going to end it I owe money customers are difficult angry and playing games forget this shit pick your chin up and stroke through life with a smile because my brothers and sisters we are still here
    Remember we are all loved by someone and deep down inside the someone is you

    • Hi Jordan

      Thank you for your comment. It’s so important that we openly discuss mental health in the construction industry.

      If you haven’t already heard of the Construction Industry Helpline, this might be something you would be interested in. It’s a 24/7 helpline and app run by a charity who aim to help those struggling with depression, anxiety, stress and suicidal thoughts.

      I hope this helps!

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