Building mental health in construction
Construction can be a rewarding and varied industry to work in. But it’s also one where pressures can be high, and people can be more likely than average to experience work-related stress and other mental health issues. For employees, it often hasn’t felt easy to come forward, mention that something’s wrong or ask a colleague to talk.
But things are changing. More and more construction businesses are starting to see their staff’s mental health as a priority. And with plenty of help, information and training available, it’s easier than ever to put employee mental health and wellbeing at the heart of your organisation. We invited colleagues at Building Mental Health to put together this toolkit of resources to show you where to start and how to take things further.
Five steps to a supportive culture
Building Mental Health is a group of volunteers from the construction industry who pull together thinking and information around mental health. They suggest 5 key steps to building a supportive culture around mental health in construction:
- Make, and show, your commitment by signing the Building Mental Health Charter;
- Make sure your staff know about your employee assistance programme and the Construction Industry Helpline, available by phone and via their new mobile app;
- Deliver an interactive ‘tool box talk‘ to raise awareness about mental health, teach people to recognise signs that colleagues might need some support, and get conversation started;
- Train line managers and supervisors in what to do when somebody mentions a mental health issue;
- Train around one in 100 employees or subcontractors as a certified mental health first aider.
The resources below have been specially selected to support these steps. Or, if you’re just starting out, they’ll give you a great introduction and some ways to make small changes straight away.
Resources in this toolkit:
Sometimes the easiest way to get help is on your phone screen, especially if you're onsite. This app is filled with advice and guidance on all sorts of wellbeing topics for construction workers.
The Construction Industry Helpline is the confidential support service for construction workers and their families. These packs of posters and cards can help you spread the word in your workplace.
This free online training shows how you can help people who might be contemplating suicide by bringing up the subject and offering support. The course is available to everyone and is accessible without any kind of registration or login.
Building Mental Health has a list of training organisations who specialise in construction and can deliver mental health first aid training at your site.
Building Mental Health has organised a programme of CITB-funded training across the UK to enable people to become Mental Health First Aid Instructors with a special focus on construction.