As Interior Architecture specialists, at WyldeIA we are often working alongside construction workers on many of our projects. With the spotlight more frequently being thrown on mental health in the workplace, we’re becoming more aware of the challenges present when it comes to mental health in this particular sector. The Construction Industry is unique and holds particularly worrying statistics. Being a male dominated field presents challenges in itself; male construction workers are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than the average UK male.
The construction workforce makes up 6% of the entire UK workforce providing a vast ranges of opportunities and careers. Workers are able to develop their skills and work their way up in an high-energy and fast-paced industry. These sorts of careers demand commitment, focus and reliance on the workforce around them which can incite a culture of ignoring any signs of poor mental health and ‘cracking on’ with the task at hand.
“In a sector with a high number of male workers we cannot ignore the specific risks associated for men and mental poor health. Suicide is now the leading cause of death in men between 15 and 49, and they are often in employment.” – Mates in Mind
Sadly, there is still a stigma around mental health – especially within a predominantly male workforce. There’s a likelihood of increased conflict with coworkers and being overwhelmed at work. The added pressures of needing to win contracts and preserve income can ramp up stress and breed a negative culture at work. Organisations are trying to boldly break the perception that men have to bottle up their emotions or ‘man up’ promoting conversations about mental health particularly at work.
Poor mental health within workers often leads to a lack of confidence, decreased output and productivity often resulting in an increase in absenteeism. Of course, the relationship between work and mental health is a complicated one with no quick fix. We believe open communication is a step in the right direction. The average employee takes 7 days a year off sick, with research suggesting 40% is down to poor mental health.
The careful management of mental health in the workplace will benefit those struggling but also save the construction industry millions of pounds a year. We want to keep the conversation going!
Find out more info at www.matesinmind.org