New Office for National Statistics data has revealed a rise in the UK construction sector suicide rate for 2021, with the total number for the year climbing to 507 (the majority of which were male), an increase of 24 on the year before.
Work is now being done by the industry to recognise and address the issue of suicide in construction, with the Construction Leadership Council bringing together the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity (LCIC) and Mates in Mind on a new major wellbeing and welfare project.
The collaborative project will also see initiatives rolled out to drive long-lasting and universal culture change in the profession to reduce stigma, increase awareness of support services and break down mental health barriers.
The Make It Visible campaign will bring together trade and professional bodies, training and education providers, clients and contractors to see through a plan of action with key deliverables and measurement to enact change and improve workforce wellbeing, with the overall aim benign to reduce the industry’s suicide rate.
Bill Hill, chief executive of the LCIC, said: “The industry and charities like ours have made huge strides in recognising and delivering programmes to improve wellbeing but the results from 2021 simply galvanise our resolve to do more.
“Our messages of support are not reaching the boots on the ground. We all have a moral responsibility and an economic imperative to work together to improve the wellbeing and welfare of our workers.”
Businesses can help deliver a better mental health culture within their organisation by following a five-step framework that includes signing the Building Mental Health Charter, promoting the 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, delivering a Tool Box Talk, offering mental health first aid training and making sure there are sufficient mental health first aid providers onsite.
To find out about suicide prevention training, get in touch with Suicide Bereavement UK.