We already know that the construction industry has a serious mental health problem. The Office For National Statistics says skilled construction and building trades saw the highest rate of suicide in England and Wales in 2020.
Thankfully, we’ve been seeing more and more tradespeople, construction organisations, and industry bodies step up and offer to do something about it.
While finding support for mental health issues, or even addressing them in the first place might seem threatening, we think that the smallest step can go a long way when it comes to mental wellbeing. It could even be something like sharing a cuppa with a colleague on a lunch break and chatting about the weekend together.
In recognition of mental health week in the UK, we take a look at just three examples of the ways that tradespeople can seek support for their mental health.
Band of Builders – The Big Brew
In early 2022, the UK construction charity, Band of Builders, launched the Big Brew counselling service, which is free for tradespeople to access.
During the counselling sessions, you can meet with a professional who is specially trained to lend support for a variety of issues. The sessions can take place in-person, by phone, or online via video call. Read the full article about the Band of Builders Big Brew Counselling Service here.
Your local tradesperson get-together
If one-to-one support isn’t your thing, there are plenty of trade-focussed communities out there ready to lend a helping hand, and- even better- plenty of tradespeople willing to go out and have a pint and a natter.
Even if the group itself isn’t explicitly a ‘mental health support group’, doing something that you enjoy with a group of like-minded people is sure to bring your mood up. Why not get started in one of our On The Tools Facebook groups?
Not ready to talk?
That’s fine, too. If you’re not quite ready to talk about how you’re feeling, why not have a read or a listen instead?
There are a number of podcasts out there dedicated to supporting those in the construction industry with their mental wellbeing, like The Mind Your Head podcast and our very own Mental Health Under Construction podcast, in partnership with Toolstation. In a recent episode about addiction, host Ryan Ridgway says:
“I’d encourage anyone to read and learn. You can pick up so much information and find your own way. Reading is one of the methods I use to stay the best version of me.”