Tackling Mental Health in the Construction Industry
Tackling Mental Health In the Construction Industry
I speak and engage with fellow HR professionals across various industries regularly, and one subject is brought up almost every time… Mental health. The topic of mental health and particularly mental health in the workplace has become more prominent in recent years, and rightly so. Having listened to how businesses across a wide range of sectors approach the situation, got me thinking. What do we at FSC and other construction-related businesses do to share awareness and tackle mental health issues? I know Mental Health Awareness Week is way over a month away, but, shouldn’t this be at the forefront of conversations on a far more regular basis?
Mental health has been on our radar for a considerable time, and I believe that employers offering their employees mental health provisions will eventually become legislation. As employers, we have the responsibility to ensure the well-being of our team members.
FSC & Mental Health Awareness
Last year was a very difficult time for all of us at FSC as we learnt one of our former employees took his own life. I don’t want to go too much into the details as it’s not fair on him or his loved ones but my point is it shook us all to the core. We were all utterly devastated and it’s something that will take some of us a long time to process.
In the aftermath, I wanted to learn more about mental health and further understand the difficulties people face, especially within construction and related industries. My research led me to some disturbing facts. According to the Office of National Statistics, from 2001 to 2017 total of 3372 people within the construction and related industries took their own lives. This averages out to around
- 211 a year
- 18 a month
- 5 a week
I’ve rounded these figures to the nearest person. But given that these statistics came before the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent cost-of-living crisis, I would assume the more recent figures could be considerably higher. What isn’t an assumption is that the people who build our nation’s infrastructure, like the vast majority, are subject to increasing levels of unhappiness, stress and depression. These emotions are largely down to the external pressures the UK and people across the globe are facing.
All of this begs the following questions: Firstly, what are businesses currently doing to support the mental health of their staff? Secondly, what more can businesses do?
FSC HR Manager Sharon Brown
PARTNERING WITH MIND NORTH EAST LINCOLNSHIRE
At FSC, we have partnered with our local branch of MIND and take advantage of the fantastic services they offer businesses and their employees. FSC takes commercial partnerships very seriously and our charity partnership with MIND is no different. In return for the services we receive, we proactively raise funds for the MIND charity. Moreover, we include our staff as much as possible with invites to our fundraising events, sweepstakes and other competitions. Inclusivity is at the heart of what we are trying to achieve. We also intend to enter participants in MIND’s upcoming events. We feel that is important as ever to give staff opportunities outside of their professional and family lives that allow them to participate and enjoy themselves.
In addition to fundraising, donate our time and services within our areas of expertise. A great example of this is our recent collaboration with our friends at Total Signs & Graphics to replace the signage at their Kent Street building in Grimsby. As well as this, the FSC Flooring Division replaced and repaired torn and worn flooring, helping create a better environment for their service users. During a recent visit, we made a list of the charity’s needs, which we endeavour to get through… Watch this space
I’d love to know how other employers, not just within construction tackle the subject of mental health within their businesses and industries. if you’d like to share your thoughts with me, please do, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.