Mental Health in the Construction IndustryWorking in construction can take a toll on your mental health
Working in construction can take a toll on your mental health. The industry is stressful; most of us are faced daily with tight timelines, coupled with high expectations on the quality of our output. Every decision we make comes with risks and dangers to other members of our teams – that alone is stressful.
The industry has always had measures in place to protect our physical safety and we are heartened to see the growing emphasis on recognizing the mental strain that working in construction can have on us.
While this emphasis is a step in the right direction, the industry has a long way to go, especially towards reducing the stigma around talking about mental health. The following are some sobering stats about mental health in the construction industry:
- A Swinburne University study from 2018 found that construction professionals experience levels of depression, anxiety and stress exceed the general population by 40%
- Construction workers are more than twice as likely to suicide as other people in Australia
- Construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than through a workplace accident
- 21% of workers in the construction industry were shown to have had a mental health condition
We exercise to ensure we maintain our physical fitness. We take our cars to be serviced so that they don’t break down. We need to approach our mental health in the same way; it needs to be worked on. Check in with yourself, with your mates and with your colleagues. This is the first, simple step towards prioritising your mental health.
This Is a Conversation Starter
BuildPass has integrated a link in the app which takes you directly to a service called "This is a Conversation Starter (TIACS)" that can help you check in with your mental health.
What can employers do for employees?
- Check in with your staff.
- Promote and encourage discussion about mental health amongst your employees.
- Engage and implement with WorkSafe’s WorkWell Program
- Establish an Employer Assisted Provider (EAP) to help your workers access counselling services e.g. http://www.mendservices.com.au/
What can you do for your work mates?
- Promote discussions around mental health
- Check in with your mates
- Is there anything worrying you today?
- You don't seem yourself. Is there something bothering you?
- OK, but you know you can talk to me if you ever need to
What can you do for yourself?
- If you are not feeling right there are things you can do:
- Reach out to family
- Reach out to friends
- Reach out to a free service for support
- If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a close friend, there are free services that can help you through.