The House Builders Federation and its members have launched a new campaign to help end the stigma of mental health and provide support for workers in the industry. It aims to tackle the shocking implications of mental health that is resulting in over 400 workers in the wider construction industry taking their own lives every year.
Together, we aim to provide house builders with key resources and training to support employees and sub-contractors.
Over 30 builders have already signed up to the campaign and pledged to adopt the ‘Building Mental Health Framework’, which gives best practice guidance to companies to help put critical steps in place. The industry has also pledged over £100,000 towards the Charity.
Whilst the industry has worked hard in recent years on health and safety initiatives to ensure workers are safe physically, an overwhelming 88% of people working in the sector believe that more support needs to be given with regards to mental health. A construction worker is now ten times more likely to die through suicide than a fall from a height. Jobs that are common in housebuilding such as plastering and decorating, have some of the highest rates of poor mental health.
The new campaign will deliver vital support to the charity’s confidential 24/7 industry helpline and retraining for workers who have been injured or who have suffered from an illness which means they cannot return to their normal work.
Speaking at the launch today, Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at HBF said;
“As an industry a huge amount of focus has been on how we ensure sites are as safe physically as they can be. However, we also need to be doing all we can to address the mental health issues that we face and improve the unacceptable level of suicide amongst construction workers.
“The campaign aims to help companies support their workforce and identify and help those people struggling with mental health issues. We want to create a culture where talking about mental health is welcomed and normal so people come forward when they need help and then get it.”
Working with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, HBF is able to offer support for home builders, which includes support packs for managers on site to speak to their teams and support them.
Bill Hill, CEO, Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said;
“Our charity along with Building Mental Health are encouraging every organisation in construction to engage in a programme to improve the mental health of our industry for this generation and the next. No construction worker should be alone in a crisis. We are absolutely delighted that HBF have embraced this challenge as a collective and thank them for their amazing generosity in supporting our 24/7 Construction industry helpline.”