With over 40 years of experience in the industry, I have had the pleasure of meeting a large number of construction professionals. From project managers and structural engineers to electricians and plumbers, it’s safe to say I have worked with my fair share of trades.
However, I think that no matter how much experience you in this industry, you’ve likely noticed the strain that it can put on the people who work within it. Although our work is very varied and rewarding, the high expectation that we hold our work can result in a lot of pressure. This means that workers are more likely to experience work-related stress which can lead to mental health problems. When mental health problems develop, they can severely impact not only the person who is suffering but the people around them.
If you weren’t already aware, this week is Mental Health Awareness week (10th – 16th May). Now in its 21st year, the aim of it is to help raise awareness of the impact of mental health problems and to help people understand them more.
One company, in particular, that is helping to do this is Travis Perkins. Their #ManDown campaign focuses on making people aware of the issues that construction workers face within the building industry. They have done this with a series of videos that look at real-life stories from some of their employees as well as the signs to look out for:
I wanted to take this opportunity to share experiences of my own. I myself have worked with people who suffer from mental health problems and I want to talk about the signs that I noticed, in the hope that it will help you to notice them to:
He’s on edge and twitchy.
He declines calls and keeps going AWOL.
He’s on a short fuse.
You always feel the tension in the air around him.
He’s never out with the lads anymore.
He secludes himself away from people.
But I don’t stop talking to him.
This is even more reason to talk to him.
The message that I want to share is that no one should face mental health problems alone. Keep talking to them and maybe you can save a life.
Travis Perkins has put together, a very useful list of free resources that you might find useful yourself or you might know someone who could benefit from them. The aim is to provide you with or someone you know with help, support by giving you/them someone to talk to:
Call: 0808 808 00 00
Email: Email Form
Webchat: Webchat Service Available
Visit: macmillan.org.uk for further information and support, and to access webchat
Call: 0300 123 3393
Call: 116 123
You can find a full list of resources on their website. I hope that you have found this helpful, and maybe eye-opening. Remember, if we can keep talking about these issues, we can normalise them and help the people who are suffering in silence.