New research from Local Heroes has revealed that 60% of skilled tradespeople across the nation feel the COVID-19 outbreak has caused a negative effect on their mental health.
The findings have shown that worries about the health of loved ones (52%), financial concerns (51%), redundancy fears (41%) and social distancing (40%) due to the pandemic are affecting British trade workers’ emotional wellbeing.
According to the findings of the Local Heroes Mental Health Study – which surveyed 500 tradesmen and women across the country – 70% report experiencing mental health issues, specifying stress (44%), feeling low (37%), anxiety (35%) and depression (28%). 48% of the skilled workers surveyed who have experienced a mental health concern have sought support, including taking prescribed medication (29%), counselling (12%) and therapy (10%).
Delving into the connection between poor mental health and work life within the industry, the insights have uncovered that 79% of trade workers feel their job has adversely affected their emotional wellbeing, with 91% saying they find day-to-day work stressful all the time. Younger trade workers reportedly feel their trade worsens their emotional state the most.
While 52% of tradesmen and women feel comfortable discussing their mental health with their partner, the survey has discovered that 60% feel there is still a social stigma around openly discussing mental wellbeing, and 34% feel uncomfortable opening up to their colleagues in the workplace when feeling stressed or down. 45% of tradespeople feel that there is not enough mental health awareness and support within their industry.
“Attitudes towards mental health have changed over the past few years but unfortunately the pandemic has proved there’s still much work to do,” says Camilla Benitz, Head of Local Heroes. “We’re proud to work with Mental Health UK to further that conversation and provide any help we can to anyone who is struggling during this particularly difficult time.”
Teaming up with Mental Health UK, Local Heroes has launched an online Mental Health Awareness Guide for tradespeople, to help improve understanding and highlight where to seek support, including expert advice, tips and sharing people’s experiences.
“The findings from the Local Heroes survey, that the mental health of up to 60% of tradespeople has been negatively impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic, is both worrying but unfortunately not surprising,” commented Sarah Murphy, Associate Director for Advice, Information, and Training at Mental Health UK. “At this unprecedented time, concerns about your own health, and that of your families are bound to be causing stress, and this is exacerbated by loss of income also causing money worries. That is why we are delighted to be working with Local Heroes to ensure all tradespeople, and their families can improve their understanding of mental health, know how to spot the signs within themselves, their colleagues and family members, and, importantly, to know where to see help and support, both for their mental and financial health.”