Approximately 25% of people in the UK are estimated to face mental health issues annually according to Mind. With higher prevalence among men. In the construction industry, predominantly male, the suicide rate among men is three times the national average. Resulting in at least two fatalities per day!
As Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 is upon us for another year, it’s important to touch upon individuals specifically in the construction industry. Plus, how we can be more supportive.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week focuses on anxiety, a condition experienced by nearly one-third of construction industry workers. The demanding nature of the construction environment, including long hours and tight deadlines, combined with the current financial pressures, contributes to high stress levels. Additionally, the image of a ‘manly’ culture within the industry often discourages workers from seeking necessary support.
Addressing mental health in the workplace requires tailored approaches rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. Education and training play a vital role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. While efforts to transform the industry have commenced, there is still much progress to be made. Here at the Diggerland Plant Training School, we are fully committed to contributing in any way possible.
What are the signs of anxiety?
The signs of anxiety can vary from person to person, but common indicators include:
- Excessive worrying: Constant and excessive worrying about everyday situations, events, or activities, often accompanied by a sense of impending doom.
- Restlessness: Feeling restless or on edge, having difficulty sitting still or relaxing.
- Fatigue: Feeling tired, fatigued, or lacking energy, even after minimal physical or mental exertion.
- Difficulty concentrating: Finding it challenging to concentrate or experiencing mind going blank, which can impact work or daily tasks.
- Irritability: Feeling easily irritated or having a short fuse, reacting strongly to minor frustrations or disruptions.
- Muscle tension: Experiencing muscle tension, tightness, or body aches, often related to the heightened stress response.
- Sleep disturbances: Having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restless, unsatisfying sleep.
- Changes in appetite: Noticeable changes in appetite, such as loss of appetite or increased cravings for comfort foods.
- Panic attacks: Sudden and intense episodes of fear or discomfort, accompanied by physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, chest pain, sweating, trembling, or shortness of breath.
- Avoidance behaviour: Avoiding certain situations or places due to fear or anxiety, such as crowded spaces or social gatherings.
It’s important to note that anxiety symptoms can range in severity and duration. If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent or worsening anxiety symptoms that interfere with daily life, it is recommended to seek professional help.
So, what can we do in the construction industry to help?
Businesses have multiple avenues to offer support and education to their employees. Aiming not only to assist individuals facing mental health challenges but also to equip managers and staff to recognise early signs of distress and extend a helping hand.
Business can offer the following:
- Continual training
- Promoting awareness
- Enhancing communication channels between employees and managers
- Facilitating access to counselling services and support groups
All of the above contribute to fostering a company culture that prioritises mental well-being. By creating such an environment, organisations encourage their workers to seek assistance when facing difficulties. Emphasising the value placed on mental health.
Useful websites to remember
Do you work in the construction industry, and currently struggling with your mental health? Keep a note of these websites, and contact them if you need additional support.
Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
Mates In Mind – https://www.matesinmind.org/
Construction Industry Helpline – https://www.constructionindustryhelpline.com/
Lighthouse Club – https://www.lighthouseclub.org/
NPORS training courses at the Diggerland Plant Training School
Alongside mental health awareness, it’s equally as important to ensure you have the correct first aid qualifications. When you choose to train with the Diggerland Plant Training School, you’ll have the choice of the following courses:
First Aid at Work – This course can be completed in 3 days, and will cover all of the main types of injuries, and how to prevent them.
Emergency First Aid at Work – If you book onto this course then you’ll be touching on similar scenarios to the course above. However they will focus more on emergency situations at work.
CPR & Use of AED (Automated External Defibrillators) – If you are interested in furthering your emergency first aid skills then this course would suit you.
Oxygen Therapy Administration – This course will take one day to complete, and can be an additional course to take once you’ve completed the basics in First Aid training.
Immediate Management of Anaphylaxis – This course is suitable for all First Aiders and healthcare professionals, as well as those in a high risk environment where such medication is available.
Contact the Team Today
Our main training site is based in Kent, local for anyone in the South East and surrounding areas. We can also operate in Devon, Durham and Yorkshire as well. If you’re not local to any of these areas we can also arrange for our instructors to teach on an external site, at a time and date to suit the company or operators.
If you’re looking to book onto any of our upcoming NPORS training course dates, we have instructors on hand to assist.
Get in touch with a member of the team today by emailing us if you have any questions, or want to reserve your space on a course. Alternatively, you can give us a call on: 01634 295355 to discuss our excavator courses in detail.
Get talking today, and make mental health awareness a priority in the construction industry!