Blog

Welcome to the blog of Members’ Forum 2017.

Tackling mental health and improving wellbeing in construction

Mental health problems are a growing public health concern on both a national and international scale. In England and Wales, it is estimated that one in six working age adults experience depression, anxiety or stress-related issues in any given week.

In what can be said to be a very macho industry, construction is rarely part of the conversation when it comes to mental health. But in recent months, initiatives such as Mates in Mind have placed the issues firmly on the construction industry’s agenda. And the reasons for doing so are clear.

With a UK construction workforce of 2.1 million people (approximately 6% of the total UK workforce) the statistics suggest that around 350,000 construction professionals may be affected by mental health issues. Furthermore, and potentially even more concerning, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that those working in construction are 63% more likely to die by suicide than the national average.

So why are construction employees at risk?

The sector is often seen to be a high pressure environment; often plagued with shifting working patterns, tight deadlines, long hours and frequent travel.

Over the last couple of decades, construction has come a long way in improving its record on health and safety but clearly figures like the above cannot be ignored. It is often said that the industry is at its best when it is collaborating to find solutions and employers are recognising it makes good sense to play a role in supporting and promoting better mental wellbeing.

At Members’ Forum, delegates will attend a workshop to discuss the issues posed by mental health in the first of our workshops on Monday 19 June 2017. The workshop will be chaired by incoming CIOB President, Rebecca Thompson FCIOB and will also include a talk from guest speakers Clive Johnson, Head of Health, Safety and Security at Land Sec as well as Chair of the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HLCG).

Clive will discuss the UK construction industry’s perspective on mental health and wellbeing as well as the work of the HCLG and the Mates in Mind campaign. Delegates will also discuss the CIOB’s role in this agenda and ensure we are promoting mental wellbeing throughout our membership.

For further information, or details about the workshop, please contact Sophie Cox on scox@ciob.org.uk.

David Barnes
Research, Communications & Policy Officer

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