The UK construction industry employs over 2.9 million workers and issues of mental health has become top priority across the industry and beyond. It is estimated that 44% of employers are experiencing increase in reported cases of mental ill health. This is estimated to cost the UK economy around £26 billion a year and as much as 400,000 workdays lost annually. The construction industry recognizes the significance of occupational health and safety in protecting the physical health of workers. However, mental illness which is unseen and affects significant numbers of workers is rarely discussed within the industry. Around 89% of the construction workforce is male and national statistics show that approximately 75% of suicides are men under the age of 45. These include low-skilled workers like labourers; skilled trades like plasterers, painters and decorators and construction managers. Women however, who suffer from mental ill health are twice as likely to seek help. This study adopts an ethnographic approach by evaluating construction workers that have attended the 7-day Instructor training. This training include a 2-days Mental Health First Aid training and 5-days of instructor training to appraise the suitability of MHFA training for the construction industry; and if the training improves the physical, mental and social health of workers. All of these were weighed against the deliverables that MHFA England set out to achieve with the use of their training. Within the industry, workers that are physically and mentally able are more willing to contribute to their workplace and most likely to be meaningfully engaged. It is therefore imperative to create a supportive environment that manages the risks to worker’s mental health by raising awareness, reducing stigma and discrimination and upskilling workers at all levels towards understanding mental ill health and how to recognize and manage such issues.
|Title of host publication||The International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) World Building Congress 2019 – Constructing Smart Cities|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Jun 2019|