Over recent years, there has been a much-needed shift of focus to mental health. It comes as recently the Centre for Mental Health announced that globally, we lose 91 million days to sickness, and the average person takes 7 sick days off work a year – 40% of those are in relation to mental health concerns.
The cause for the decline in mental health varies per person, but the main triggers include stress, exhaustion, personal trauma, genetics, and a family history of poor mental health. Poor mental health impacts our lives in many ways including how we interact with others, how we handle upsetting and stressful situations, productivity, and our ability to make good choices.
Leading UK portable accommodation supplier, Elliott has joined forces with Mates In Mind because health isn’t always visible. Established in 2016, Mates in Mind are a charity supporting mental health in the workplace, specifically within the construction sector. They guide organisations to resources and support to help employees with their mental health concerns.
The construction sector is made up of 2.3 million people, almost 300,000 of those are women and 2 million are men. ONS data from early 2017 revealed that suicide is the main cause of death for males between the ages of 15 to 49, and the risk of suicide amongst low-skilled male labourers is 3x higher than the male national average.
Bill Hill, Chief Exec of The Lighthouse Club charity, stated the reason for high suicidal rates and depression in construction workers is due to the ‘high-pressure environment’. Stereotypically, workers are away from family for weeks, and turn to drinking, smoking, and betting with other colleagues to pass time. For some, it can lead to a lonely lifestyle.
This worrying statistic is the reason Elliott are increasing their number of mental first aiders across the country, have increased their leadership walks by 300% since late 2020, hold safety stand-downs at all their offices and depots across the UK. No matter where our employees are based, At Elliott, we want to ensure we can help them get the support they need, as quickly as possible. Along with our long-standing Employee Assistance Programme, our mental health first aiders will be able to signpost help for any staff who need it.