As my presidency at the CIOB comes to an end, it is the perfect time to reflect on the work we have achieved. During my Presidency I made mental health and wellbeing my focus and the conversations and work we have achieved over the year is just the beginning.
Last year we surveyed our members on the state of their mental health, what factors at work contributed towards stress, and how organisations are working to alleviate mental health issues within the workplace. We published our findings in our report Understanding Mental Health in the Built Environment and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I strongly urge you to do so.
We found that 26% of our fellow construction professionals who responded to the survey had thought about taking their own lives in 2019. 97% said they had been stressed at least once in the last year. 56% said they work for an organisation that had no policies on mental health in the workplace. More than 2,000 people took that survey. This is a silent crisis, and through the report we have made recommendations to government, employers, other professional bodies, and our members.
At Members' Forum this year, delegates will hear about the work we have achieved during my presidency on this important issue and the next steps we are taking on the back of the report. I am delighted to announce we have some fantastic speakers at this session, Elvin Box MCIOB, Anxiety UK and MATES.
Elvin has had a wealth of experience working in different roles within the construction industry and will discuss his own experiences of mental health and why it is important that organisations are open and non-judgemental towards people who are experiencing poor mental health.
In 2019 we announced our partnership with Anxiety UK and the Benevolent Fund which allows past and present members of the CIOB as well as their families to access support. They will be discussing more about this partnership as well as the importance of good mental health.
MATES, who are a mental health organisation based in Australia, will be talking about the work they are doing over there and why it is important for the construction industry to address issues of poor mental health with colleagues across sites.
We won’t stop here. This needs our constant attention; we all have to talk about mental health. We all have to see what we can do to support each other. No matter where we sit in an organisation. This has to be our new normal and we must break the silence.
More information about the CIOB's Members' Forum can be found at https://membersforum.ciob.org