The Federation of Master Builders

Now is the time to drive suicide prevention

Published date: 08 May 2017

Did you know more construction workers take their own lives than in any other industry? There were 1,419 suicides among those working in skilled construction and building trades between 2011 and 2015, according to Office for National Statistics data – more than in any other industry.

Although the construction industry has come a long way since 2001 following a summit to tackle the sector’s shocking safety statistics. Any number above zero is too high, and with more than 43 people losing their lives between 2015/16, it’s imperative to shatter the mental health stigma and create caring cultures within our companies. In many workplaces, mental health is the elephant in the room. Here are some tips your firm could implement in order to raise awareness and promote discussion of mental health and wellbeing.

How can your firm boost mental wellbeing?

Promote wellbeing for all staff: Employers should send a clear message that staff wellbeing matters and being open about mental health will lead to support not discrimination. Actively encourage your team to adopt healthier working habits by working sensible hours, resting and recuperating after busy periods. Make sure employees are confident, well equipped and supported to do their job to a high standard.

A culture of openness and positive working relationships: When conducting team meetings consider talking about how team members are doing and reflect on what might be causing them stress. The more you discuss this topic, the more normalised conservations about mental health will become. Encourage and support a culture of teamwork, as peer support allows colleagues to support one another outside of the line-management structure.

Tackle the causes of mental health problems: There are a number of workplace triggers for stress and mental health problems including long hours and no breaks, overly pressurised working environments, high-risk roles and poor managerial support. Conducting a survey is a great approach to identifying and understanding factors that affect your staff and provides you with a clear agenda to tackle.

You do not have to tackle mental health alone, the great thing is information and support are easily accessible online through key organisations such as Mind, Time To Change and Mental Health Foundation. Nor do you need to feel pressured to implement everything at once; by making a small change today you could help save one of your employee's lives. 

Read the full results published by Office for National Statistics here

Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook 

Keep in touch with FMB Insurance

For regular updates from FMB Insurance, sign-up here with your email address.