Home » CITB to prioritise mental health as industry continues to grapple with issue

CITB to prioritise mental health as industry continues to grapple with issue

by Liam Turner
A sad female construction worker

CITB has pledged to continue its commitment to mental health support and training as Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022) gets underway.

study compiled by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and CITB highlighted the toll poor mental health is taking on construction workers.

The research found that 26% of construction workers had experienced suicidal thoughts, with 91% saying they felt overwhelmed.

Two construction workers take their own lives each day.

CITB has already partnered with Laing O’Rourke, the Lighthouse Club, and Samaritans to train 8,000 mental health first aiders in the workplace.

CITB is set to announce further support for an initiative that will include apprentices.

Since 2018, CITB has awarded more than £1.5m to mental health projects.

Further,over £1.3m in grants have been paid to support mental health first aid and awareness courses and mental health champions, supporting nearly 950 employers.

‘Construction needs to look after its workforce’

CITB chief executive Tim Balcon said: “I am under no illusion that there are many reasons why construction has a poor record on mental health.

“Factors include working away from home, heavy workloads, long working hours, prejudice, late payments, and job insecurity.

“Poor management practices and a lack of understanding can add to the problem, too.

“Construction needs to look after its workforce. When all workers can access support, without fear of stigma, lives will be saved and attracting new entrants will be easier.

“Our support for mental health training and initiatives will continue and will be outlined in our new business plan, due to be launched later this month.”

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said: “Training mental health first aiders is a lifesaver. One person can make a huge difference simply by listening and supporting someone who feels that they have nowhere to turn to.”

He added: “With support from CITB and the construction industry, we need to take action now.

“Just one small step can make all the difference and we encourage everyone to ask if someone is OK.

“As well as training, we also provide a 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline providing a range of free and confidential support, which is complemented by a free Self Support App.

“Our free text HARDHAT to 85258 service provides yet another route to support, along with our Lighthouse Beacons who offer a safe space for people to share concerns.”

Image credit: ultramansk/Shutterstock

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