A study as part of the Make Chat Work campaign (an initiative to foster wellbeing in the workplace) found that 47% of UK construction workers feel lonely at work. The same study revealed that 79% believe that having the opportunity to chat with colleagues during breaks would help combat this loneliness.
Mental health issues are rife in the industry. The ONS data on suicide by occupation reveals that the highest number is among skilled construction and building trades. As a male dominated sector, this contributes significantly to overall male suicide rates.
It is time to tackle the stigma here!
Despite the fact that awareness surrounding men's mental health has improved over the last decade, many are still uncomfortable talking about how they are feeling.
There continues to be a 'macho' image associated with the construction workforce which leaves most conforming to societal expectations. Many men hide their emotions in an attempt to 'fit in' which is damaging their mental health and impacting their families.
As with any industry, construction workers face pressure in all areas of life and keeping it bottled up puts them at a higher risk of suicide.
We need more men to speak up! To share their experiences. And we need more workplaces that create space for community.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB said "The FMB has also partnered with the Lighthouse Club as our charity partner to ensure mental health awareness is front and centre in the construction sector.”