Tackling Mental Health Issues in Sheet Piling and Construction
As part of the construction industry, Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd – the UK’s leading sheet piling contractor – is just as concerned by the mental health issues and the mental health statistics within the sector as any other business.
A male site-worker working in construction is three times more likely to commit suicide than the average UK male. Between 2011 and 2015, 13.2% of the in-work suicides recorded came from the construction and building sectors, even though this sector only comprises 7% of the UK workforce.
In 2016, 454 construction workers took their own life. Suicide in the industry actually results in more deaths than falls. The most recent Construction News Mental Health Survey shows that 30% of construction sector workers have taken time off work because of mental health issues.
This makes concerning reading and Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd is well aware of the factors that cause stress, anxiety and depression, as these are not absent in the world of sheet piling, which can take place on sites right across the country, necessitating long periods of time away from friends and family.
2018 was a tough year for the industry, with the collapse of Carillion having far-reaching impacts in the sector. This led to an unprecedented 1662 calls to the Construction Industry Helpline, with 662 of these requiring financial advice and help.
As a result, December saw the helpline’s operator, The Lighthouse Charity, launching a new mental health app, enabling those in-need construction workers to access help via the app, if the stigma of talking about their mental health with others, on a face-to-face basis, is still too much for some individuals to bear.
The App provides help with anger management, stress, anxiety and also drugs and alcohol dependency, as well as offering advice on legal issues and debt management. It is available for not just those working in the industry to download, but their families too, as mental health can have big family impacts, as well as individual ones.
Here at Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd we are mindful of all of the advice on mental health and hope that we have a culture in which issues can be discussed by our sheet piling team, or those working in our administrative roles. We applaud the efforts of The Lighthouse Charity, as well as other initiatives such as Mates in Mind, and hope that we can implement all best practice within our mental health management programme, on an ongoing basis.
If anyone else needs any support, the Construction Industry Helpline is at 0345 605 1956 and more details are available at www.constructionindustryhelpline.com Do ask for help, if you feel anxious, stressed or suicidal. There are people available to listen and help.- Ends -
NOTES TO EDITORS
Sheet Piling (UK) Limited is one of the UK's leading piling contractors. Owning and operating a comprehensive range of specialist piling equipment Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd also carry extensive stocks of new and used piles enabling rapid reaction to any urgent requirements or emergency situations.