At Green Hat, we are committed to supporting people working in our industry to get the help they need, whether that’s for themselves or for a colleague and advising organisations about best practise for normalising discussions of mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Construction has been highlighted as one of the worst industries for poor mental health, suspected to be due to the type of working environment and the culture leading to a perceived stigma that make it difficult to talk.
Almost 60% of people have never spoken to anyone at work about their mental health
At least 20% of all work-related illness in construction is attributed to stress, anxiety, or depression
Our industry has the highest suicide rate – every single working day in the UK two construction workers take their own life
For many years the construction industry has been shouting about safety, but only whispering about health.
It’s time for us to focus on workforce wellbeing and address the stigma around mental health
Gain access to useful material and information for your company including a free Tool Kit for discussing mental health in construction workplaces that you can use and adapt.
Supporting a Colleague
It can be hard to recognise if somebody is experiencing a mental health problem, and they may not even be aware of it themselves. If a colleague doesn’t seem themselves, it’s good to check in and see how they are.
Ask how you can help, and be patient, respectful and open-minded while listening to what they say. Building and maintaining constructive relationships with those around us eases the burden when facing difficult times.
Find a space and time to have a conversation away from distractions and where your colleague will feel comfortable.
It’s important to remember your role as a colleague or friend is to listen and signpost, not to be a counsellor or a mental health professional. If you find yourself affected, speak to your manager or seek confidential support through a helpline.
Advice for Employers
One of the biggest issues in the workplace is that employees do not feel able to discuss their mental health with their managers.
Ensure your organisation’s mental health strategy is communicated to all employees so they know what support is available and conversations about it are considered normal and only lead to support.
Encourage your team to ask how others are feeling and be prepared to take the lead and approach an employee if there are signs that they might be struggling. Discuss any issues with sensitivity, and appropriate levels of privacy and confidentiality and offer suitable measures to address them.
If you find that you experience mental health problems yourself as an employer or manager, it is vital that you seek guidance and advice.
What can we do?
At Green Hat Consulting we are committed to improving Mental Health in construction and are proud to have signed the Building Mental Health Charter.
As a company we commit to the Building Mental Health Framework which underpins the values of our business and supports people in our industry, every day, and throughout their working lives.
Sign the Building Mental Health charter and make a commitment towards improving mental health in our industry.
What can Green Hat do for you?
Firstly, Green Hat can provide your company with mental health awareness sessions with key facts and figures
Secondly, we can help you implement a mental health strategy for your company by:
- Developing a company mental health policy
- Carrying out a company stress risk assessment
- Help your company develop well-being plans for your employees
Green Hat also includes mental health questions on new and updated site inspections and CDM audits.
Mental Health First Aiders
Mental Health First Aid Wales provides essential training to equip people with tools, understanding and confidence to deal with all kinds of mental ill-health and wellbeing issues.
Employees can apply to become Mental Health First Aiders and train to spot the signs of mental ill health, plus learn how to start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be struggling.
They can also empower someone to access the support they might need, both internally and externally, while maintaining confidentiality and are also equipped to deal with emergencies.
MHFA is both preventative and proactive: it’s a practical, ethical and productive way for employers to invest in the mental and emotional health of their staff, which is beneficial for everyone.
Get Help – Useful Resources
There are many ways to get mental health support and guidance, especially for construction industry workers. Below you will find a list of organisations with helplines, where you can access free, confidential mental health support 24/7.
Mates in Mind aims to provide clear information to employers about the available support and guidance on mental health and wellbeing, and how they can address this within their organisations.
Samaritans is a charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. Call 116 123 any time free of charge, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lighthouse Club provides emergency financial assistance, welfare and wellbeing advice, and emotional and legal support to the construction industry workforce and their families in times of hardship and stress. Ring 0345 609 1956, text HARDHAT to 85258 or download the app.
National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK is a helpline offering a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. Open 24/7, ring 0800 689 5652.
SHOUT is a free 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone struggling to cope. Text SHOUT to 85258 for free from all major mobile networks in the UK.
CALM is dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Call 0800 58 58 58 between 5pm and midnight, 365 days a year, or use the webchat.
PAPYRUS is committed to preventing suicide among young people under 35, providing a confidential support and advice helpline and offering training sessions. Available 9am – midnight every day, ring 0800 068 4141 or text 07860 039 967 or visit the site for more options.
SANE is a leading UK mental health charity improving quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness. Leave a message with your first name and contact number on 07984 967 708 to request a call back.
C.A.L.L. If you live in Wales, you can call or text the Community Advice and Listening Line. Ring 0800 132 737 or text help to 81066 for the listening and support service.
Alternatively, you can find helplines for a range of issues and regions here.
Green Hat 2022 Charity Fundraising for Mates in Mind
The team at Green Hat have decided that we not only want to raise awareness of the issue of mental health in the construction industry but also challenge ourselves as a team to raise money for the great cause Mates In Mind which is important to us. Find out more about our challenge over on our blog.