Spotlight on… mental health

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is pleased to publish its new ‘Spotlight on…’ initiative which focuses on how mental health can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity and can cause both personal and work-related stress, anxiety and depression.

The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…’ initiative focuses on different areas associated with improving the image of construction, and raises awareness among registered sites, companies and suppliers about the issues and how to help

Mental health is an issue which can have a considerable impact on the industry, with pressures such as the stress and demands to meet project deadlines and the risks involved in completing jobs quickly, increasing the likelihood of mental health issues.

The Good Day at Work Annual Report for 2014/2015 focuses on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The report discovered that:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any year – poor mental health affects anyone
  • 9 out of 10 people who experience mental health problems say they face stigma and discrimination as a result
  • Stigma is a huge challenge in the workplace; 40% of employers view workers with mental health problems as a ‘significant risk’
  • 8 in 10 employers have no mental health policy
  • Stress has forced 1 in 5 workers to call in sick; 90% did not feel able to tell their boss the real reason why

Work related stress can not only have an impact upon work performance and personal lives, but also impact people physically through poor health including high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and increased risk of heart attack as well as result in drug and alcohol abuse. In the construction industry, this work-related stress can often develop from heavy workloads, long working hours, travel, family separation, fear of redundancy and job insecurity, financial and budgeting pressures, tight deadlines and high risk activities. All of these issues affecting the construction industry can potentially lead to poor mental health.

It is important for employers to recognise the problem and support their employees in offering guidance, raising awareness and ensuring that people do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help.

Through taking action to tackle the topics highlighted in ‘Spotlight on…’, everyone within the industry can play an important role in making a difference, and ultimately improving the image of construction.

Click here to read the Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on… mental health’