According to a government-commissioned report the construction industry suffers from a higher than average mental health issue.
Today is Blue Monday, nationally dubbed as “the most depressing day” of our calendar. According to a ‘Good Day at Work’ Annual report: 9 out of 10 people in the construction industry who experience mental health issues say they experience stigma and discrimination as a result. Therefore Blue Monday presents us with the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of mental health.
Mental health includes your emotional and psychological well-being. In other words, it’s how you’re feeling, and how this is affecting the way you think, act, and make choices.
It’s important to know that mental health is not just about the conditions you see in films or on TV. Mental health also includes (but is not limited to):
- Depression and low mood
- Anxiety – worrying and panicking excessively
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Your mental health doesn’t just affect the way you feel emotionally; it can also affect your physical health. People struggling with a mental health disorder may lose or gain weight, experience poor sleeping patterns, and often changes in the way they look after themselves, such as how frequently they wash, eat, and rest.
Dealing with a mental health disorder can have a very real and tangible effect on your physical wellbeing. It’s important to recognise when you or someone you know might be struggling, and to understand that mental health problems, just like physical ones, require time and sometimes medication and/or therapy in order to recover.
Men in particular struggle to talk about their mental health, which is why it is especially important for employers to make sure that your needs are met and that you are feeling happy and healthy.
In the construction industry 8 out of 10 employers have no mental health policy. And with suicide being the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 the statistics say we all need to do more.
At Walker Construction we provide free counselling sessions to help all employees. We openly speak about mental health, regularly presenting tool box talks and safety stand-downs. We are working together to combat the stats.
Take time today to ask your friends, colleagues and loved ones “are you okay?”