Over half of builders have struggled with mental health

More than 50 per cent of construction workers say they have struggled with their mental health, according to software provider Causeway Technologies.

The survey was carried out by Causeway’s mental health ambassador, former England footballer Trevor Steven. Steven spoke to more than 1,400 workers over 18 months at construction sites across the country.

Of the construction workers interviewed, 56 per cent reported that they were currently experiencing or had experienced a mental health issue.

The main problems reported were anxiety (40 per cent), depression (37 per cent), fatigue (28 per cent), lack of self-confidence (25 per cent) and feeling overwhelmed (25 per cent).

More than one in ten (12 per cent) of the respondents said they were experiencing or had experienced suicidal thoughts.

Steven said: “These figures are frankly shocking and really highlight the need for intervention.”

The biggest factors cited as contributing to poor mental health were long and irregular working hours (59 per cent), financial pressures (50 per cent), lack of job security (45 per cent), tight deadlines (43 per cent) and site culture (41 per cent).

The vast majority – 80 per cent – thought that companies have a responsibility to support the mental health of workers. Despite this, 35 per cent said their workplaces were not doing enough to protect employee wellbeing.

One respondent said: “In 10 years of working in construction, I’ve never experienced a site that seems to really care about your mental wellbeing.”

The release of the survey results coincided with the launch of Causeway’s lobbying campaign calling for mental health provision to be included in construction contracts. The company is also asking businesses to sign up to a pledge to support better mental health in the workplace.

Causeway chief executive Phil Brown said: “Mental health is the true health and safety crisis in the construction industry today.

“The industry’s mental health crisis still shows little sign of abating, so we cannot afford to stop pushing forward on this issue.”

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