Stereotypically seen as a ‘strong man’s world’, the construction sector has some of the highest poor mental health rates. UK portable accommodation supplier, Elliott, has therefore looked to do its bit to help by partnering with Mates In Mind to put in place steps to support its colleagues with the hope of better mental health.
Over recent years there has been a much-needed shift of focus to mental health. It comes as the Centre for Mental Health recently announced that globally lose 91m days are lost to sickness and the average person takes seven sick days off work a year, with 40% of those relating to mental health concerns.
The cause for decline in mental health varies from person to person, but the main triggers include stress, exhaustion, personal trauma, genetics and a family history of poor mental health. Poor mental health impacts lives in many ways, including how people interact with others, how they handle upsetting and stressful situations, productivity and their ability to make good choices.
Elliott has joined forces with Mates In Mind because health isn’t always visible. Established in 2016, Mates in Mind is a charity supporting mental health in the workplace, specifically within the construction sector. It guides organisations to resources and support to help employees with their mental health concerns.
The construction sector is made up of 2.3m people, almost 300,000 of those are women and 2m are men. An ONS from early 2017 revealed that suicide is the main cause of death for males between the ages of 15 to 49, and the risk of suicide amongst low-skilled male labourers is three times higher than the male national average.
Bill Hill, Chief Exec of The Lighthouse Club charity, stated the reason for high suicidal rates and depression in construction workers is due to the ‘high pressure environment’. Stereotypically, workers are away from family for weeks and turn to drinking, smoking and betting with other colleagues to pass time. For some, it can lead to a lonely lifestyle.
This worrying statistic is the reason Elliott is increasing its number of mental first aiders across the country, has increased its leadership walks by 300% since late 2020 and holds safety stand downs at all its offices and depots across the UK. No matter where its employees are based, Elliott is committed to ensuring that it can help them get the support they need, as quickly as possible. Along with the company’s long-standing Employee Assistance Programme, its mental health first aiders will be able to signpost help for any staff who need it.
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