Back in the summer I had the privilege of taking up the Presidency of the CIOB. During my inaugural address at the Members’ Forum, I announced that mental health and wellbeing are central themes for my year as President. 

With Christmas just around the corner, we all should recognise that for many people it can be a difficult time - those experiencing or living with a mental health problem may need a little extra support over the Christmas period.

Those who are struggling with poor mental health often put on a mask and appear happy from day to day. This can become even harder as the festive period promotes happiness and joy all around. If you think someone may be struggling, do reach out to them. 

In society, and in our industry, the scale of the issue is daunting. Within the UK, mental health issues account for people taking an estimated 70 million days off sick per year. In construction, more than one worker commits suicide every day. None of us in this industry can afford to look away, we have to look out for each other. 

Next year the CIOB will publish the results from our survey into mental health in the industry, so that we can better understand the key challenges that organisations, managers and individuals face. 

In January we will also announce a new support service for members through the CIOB Benevolent Fund.  The Fund provides a listening ear and financial grants to members who are struggling with illness, loss of work, housing issues, or other problems causing them distress. 

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Construction is a people industry and we should not need Christmas to show we care. We need to do more and 2020 is a chance for us to do just that.

Thank you for supporting us as we do our best to support the industry. We wish you a very happy festive period and New Year.