mental health in the construction industry, Pagabo Foundation,
Pictured left to right: Gerard Toplass Simon Toplass Jason Stapley.

Framework organisation Pagabo is launching a new charity to address the taboo of mental health in the construction industry

The fundraising Pagabo Foundation aims to create a platform for mental health in the construction industry and will fund resources making support and advice as readily available as possible to those working in the industry.

Recent statistics show suicide as the biggest killer of construction workers under the age of 45, with male site workers three times more likely to take their own life than the average male in the UK.

Jason Stapley, managing director at Pagabo and lead for the foundation, said: “Mental health awareness has made great strides in recent years, but there is a still a way to go in improving the awareness and acceptance within the construction industry particularly with the challenging and at times stressful lifestyle that comes with it.

“In a workforce that is still primarily male, there are associated mental health risks – which the ‘tough guy’ image does not help with. For many working in construction, asking for help and opening up about emotions is not something that comes naturally. We want to not only change this but provide companies of all sizes with the resources they need to help their workforce.”

The foundation aims to unite key organisations, starting with its own partners, to set out initiatives to break down barriers in mental health in the construction industry from the top down. The first external foundation trustee has been announced as Pat Boyle, managing director at Morgan Sindall Construction, who joins Jason Stapley, Simon Toplass and Gerard Toplass from Pagabo on the board of trustees.

Pat Boyle, said: “I’m thrilled to be a trustee for the new Pagabo Foundation. There are some rather worrying statistics surrounding mental health in the construction industry, and I’m looking forward to working with the team to make a real difference to those working in the industry who may currently be suffering in silence.”

Jason Stapley, added: “Depression and anxiety have overtaken musculoskeletal disorders in the industry and it’s going to take a real joint effort to foster industry-wide, so it’s really important to us to have trustees from a variety of companies throughout the industry and we’re thrilled to have Pat on our board of trustees.

“We put so much focus on physical health in the construction industry, ensuring ample health and safety signage and personal protection equipment, and we need to encourage the same for mental health.

“Whether a person’s mental health issues are caused directly by their job or not, we believe that everyone working in the construction industry should and can get the help they need to work towards a healthier life.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Poor mental health in the construction industry has been described as ‘the silent epidemic’. A culture in which workers must be tough and independent does not allow you to talk about what’s inside you. But you need to talk about it! The fundamental difference between threats to mental health and physical is speed. There is no need to specify what kills faster. Prevention is the best strategy, and it is essential that there is an awareness of the dangers and appropriate control measures are put in place. I can recommend useful app https://www.safetycardtracker.com/ It helps to control safety on workplace

  2. Good morning from Australia

    I am a retired senior UK police officer living in Australia. I was interested to see on bbc news about your new charity set up to tackle the issues of mental health in the UK construction industry.

    In 2002 after being involved in mental health and Suicide in British transport police I was sponsored to stay in Australia and role out a new pilot initiative tackling suicide and mental health in construction. I became the National ceo and oversaw the role out of what became a nationally accredited and award winning service OZ Help.
    In 2010 I became a consultant in the area of psychosocial leadership and worked again with OzHelp and government in regards to construction and mining dealing with the issues of Suicide prevention and mental health.

    Another service that came out of the original became mates in construction who have a great model for large commercial construction

    I congratulate your efforts and if I can be of assistance in regards to my experiences in setting up the service do not hesitate to contact me

    Regards

    Keith Todd
    Eaglepoint Consulting
    PO Box 3014
    Murrumbateman
    NSW
    Australia
    2582

    Keith@eaglepoint.com.au
    +61450345325
    +61262271595

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