In 2018, the Office for National Statistics reported that rates of suicide amongst construction workers was 3.7 times above the national average. 

These numbers indicate a significant issue within the industry, but at an individual level, when you are in the midst of a mental health crisis, it can be difficult to know where and how to get help. 

But I don’t want to bother anyone? 

Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. And you don’t need to be in a crisis before reaching out for help. It may be that someone else recognises the signs in you before you do. 

An important first step towards finding support, is to open up and speak to someone about how you are feeling. 

There are a number of options for support out there, although you might find some are more suitable for you, or more easily available.

Who can you speak to? 

There are a number of avenues which can be explored but your local GP practise is a good place to start. Your doctor will discuss with you how you have been feeling and offer you support and treatment options. They can also refer you to a mental health specialist or recommend support services in your local area. 

Depending on the workspace, you may also have mental health champions or mental health buddies who can help listen and signpost to support. But you may also use the opportunity to speak to others within the organisation you trust who may be able to support. It’s often about listening as opposed to solving a problem. 

Private clinical support 

If you prefer, there are a number of trained therapists and councillors which offer a range of therapeutic treatment options. You can either go through the NHS, in which your doctor can provide you with a referral, or in some cases you can contact them directly.    

Workplace support 

While mental ill-health issues are complex, your mental health can be negatively influenced by workplace pressures and working conditions – from mounting responsibilities and tight deadlines to inter-workplace relations and managerial support – and therefore can have a significant influence on our overall mental health.

The evidence suggests that three out of every five employees are experiencing mental health issues because of work. To meet this challenge, Mates in Mind support businesses of all sizes across the UK to help recognise and improve their workforces’ mental health. 

Mates in Mind’s approach provides employers with the necessary skills, clarity and confidence to raise awareness, improve understanding, and enable positive action to address the barriers that surrounds mental health at work. Our Support Managers work with their Supporter organisations as a first point of call and help them to deliver a mental health action plan. This involves developing and maintaining clear communication on the areas of support available to workers across their organisation – be they in offices, on sites or remote-working.  

Urgent support  

If you or someone you know needs urgent help or support, there are a variety of confidential services available. Your organisation may also provide you with confidential access to counselling and advice line services. If you need urgent support but don't want to go to A&E, you could:

•call Samaritans on freephone 116 123 – they're always open and are there to listen

•contact your GP surgery and ask for an emergency appointment

•contact NHS 111 (England) or NHS Direct 0845 46 47 (Wales)

Find more information and support at https://www.matesinmind.org/need-help.html