Construction’s hidden crisis
New research suggest that one if three UK construction workers are living with elevated levels of anxiety.
High levels of mental distress and a reluctance to seek professional help among UK construction workers is leading to increased alcohol consumption, non-prescription drug use and even self-harm, a Mates in Mind study suggests.
It is being described as the industry’s hidden crisis, serious enough it could jeopardise UK economic recovery.
Mates in Mind, a mental welfare charity, and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) spoke to more than 300 construction workers in a study funded by the B&CE Charitable Trust.
Early findings indicate that intense workloads, financial problems, poor work-life balance and problems with the supply of materials are combining to significantly raise stress and anxiety levels among self-employed construction workers and those working in small firms. Preliminary survey findings suggest that almost a third of interviewers were enduring elevated levels of anxiety each day.
Sarah Casemore, managing director of Mates in Mind, said: “We have a real concern that the data shows that sole traders and those working in smaller firms with more severe anxiety were least likely to seek help from most sources. This means that too many construction workers every day are going under the radar and are not seeking support from healthcare professionals or mental health charities. This represents a real hidden crisis, which threatens the viability of a major sector of the UK economy and many of those who work in it.”
In Australia Mates In Construction can provide support to those doing it tough. Working for the construction industry in general, MATES is independent of employers and unions and never works directly for an employer. Programs are delivered across the industry regardless of employer or union affiliation.