July is Talk to Us month and the Lighthouse Construction industry Charity is raising awareness of the importance of talking about wellbeing issues with friends, colleagues and professional to prevent situations from spiralling to crisis point.
Working in construction can be extremely rewarding but has its challenges. Over 87% of the workforce is male, which means they are less likely to talk about and share their problems. In addition to this, long hours, tight deadlines and lack of job security can contribute significantly to poor mental health. Many contracts mean working away from home without the normal support network of family and friends, so trying to keep everyone happy including family, their boss, the main contractor and the client, can simply be too much.
Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while and just being listened to can help you feel supported. You never know who might be struggling so don’t forget to check up on your friends, family and colleagues to see how they are coping.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction industry Charity said: “Last month, we saw a record 300 calls to our 24/7 construction industry helpline, but the positive message is that people are feeling more able to reach out and talk to someone. No problem is too large or too small and if they’re not comfortable with talking on the phone, they can use our text support service to chat. They can even visit one of our Lighthouse Beacons to meet and talk face to face in a safe environment.
“Talking can make us feel vulnerable, but it shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness. We know that all the work we are doing, together with efforts of the industry is helping to reduce the stigma of talking about feelings and problems.”
The charity’s current campaign, Help Inside the Hard Hat, aims to raise awareness of all the support available to both companies and individuals and highlights the importance of reaching out.
The campaign is also visiting sites and trade outlets across the country to meet and talk to the trades and raise awareness of the support available to them. The team are all fully trained mental health first aiders with first hand life experiences in construction, so are able to identify and relate easily with the issues being raised.