Home » Entrepreneur shines light on ‘staggeringly poor’ mental health in construction

Entrepreneur shines light on ‘staggeringly poor’ mental health in construction

by Liam Turner
A sad-looking construction worker sitting in a shipping container

Construction entrepreneur Andrew Mann is calling for changes to mental health awareness within the industry, citing the “staggeringly poor” state of mental health in workers in the industry overall.

Andrew Mann, founder of Clarity Homes and Commercial, is bringing attention to the problem ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, which will run between 15-21 May.

This year, the central theme is dealing with anxiety.

The construction industry sees more than 700 suicides a year.

‘Dated attitudes’

Andrew said: “Having suffered with anxiety myself, I am fully aware of the effect it can have on people and have seen first-hand how some of the dated attitudes within construction can make it a challenging industry, due to mental health being a hard topic to talk about, and difficult for people to find the support they need. 

“I sought help from the brilliant West Kent Mind team, with whom I am partnering to shine a spotlight on the staggeringly poor mental health within construction.

“Their support has helped me develop the tools and strategies to acknowledge and manage the symptoms.

“Since addressing the issues I was facing, I have enjoyed great personal and professional growth. 

“I’m now keen to encourage other leaders within the construction industry to start positive dialogue about the sector’s culture and how we can change this to create better outcomes for individuals and businesses – after all, happy teams are productive teams.” 

Andrew has sought to lead the way by implementing an open and healthy work environment, offering the Clarity team access to West Kent Mind’s mental health awareness training and organising fundraising events.

To create change further afield, Andrew says he wants to push the conversation across the whole industry.

He is partnering with West Kent Mind to help spread the message.

Ceri Hodgkiss, Training and Development manager at West Kent Mind, said: “We help local people from all walks of life who are living with poor mental health, supporting them to get well, stay well and thrive.

“Working with Andrew is a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the construction industry in particular – especially given the relatively high risk of poor mental health within this sector.

“We are grateful to have Andrew’s support and experience to help us to create mentally healthy workplaces within the construction industry.”

Culture shift

Andrew is urging other industry leaders to recognise that the culture of the industry as a whole, the dynamic between construction workers on sites, and the time pressured environments in which they work is not always conducive to a healthy state of mind.

Aside from the personal turmoil a mental health crisis can take on the individual, this problem impacts construction projects across the country, he says.

Research carried out by the National Building Specification found that stress, anxiety, and depression accounts for one-fifth of work-related illnesses, resulting in over 70 million days off sick per year at an estimated annual cost of £70bn-£100bn.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 15-21 May 2023.

Image: interstid/Shutterstock

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