FMB urges members to speak openly about mental health

FMB urges members to speak openly about mental health

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has reminded its members to seek help if they are struggling with low mood or anxiety.

The call comes during Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May 2024).

“Workers in the construction industry are at some of the highest risk of suicide in the UK, and four in five suicides are by men,” explains Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.

“Building and construction brings a variety of pressures, with the rising cost of supplies, labour shortages, tight contract timescales and long hours. The sector also traditionally has a culture which doesn’t always encourage workers, who are mainly men, from seeking help or talking about their mental health.”

Every working day, two construction workers take their own life. The FMB is working closely with NHS England and its Talking Therapies campaign, which offers self-referral support for people struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety, excessive worry, post-traumatic stress or obsessions and compulsions. NHS Talking Therapies are effective, confidential and free treatments delivered by trained clinicians, online, on the phone or in person.

Claire Murdoch, national director for Mental Health at NHS England, said: “People from all backgrounds can struggle with mental health issues, and it’s no different for those working in the construction sector.

“It’s vitally important to talk about our mental health and not to suffer in silence if we are struggling. Seeking help through an NHS Talking Therapies Service can be one of the best steps someone can take to overcome their mental health issues. These evidence-based NHS Therapies support people with anxiety and depression to improve their mental health and get back on track.

“If you are struggling with your mental health, I urge you to seek help from the NHS – you can refer yourself online to our world leading Talking Therapies Service”.

Mr Berry added: “Many construction workers don’t feel comfortable opening-up and discussing their mental health, but we’d encourage them to use the services available with NHS England. There are also a variety of excellent third sector organisations, such as Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, which the FMB have partnered with to help our members with emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support for the construction community and their families.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling, reach out for free and confidential support now

24/7 Construction Industry Helplines; 0345 605 1956, (UK) 1800 939 122 (ROI)
Live chat
Text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK) 50808 (ROI)

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