The Construction Industry Helpline
The construction industry here in the UK has a dedicated Helpline which provides round the clock support to construction workers and their families in a confidential manner? Advice is offered on a wide range of issues, including depression, finance, occupational health and wellbeing, illness and bereavement. The Helpline was launched by the construction’ industry’s charity, The Lighthouse Club and it’s supported by the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme and several corporate sponsors.
Despite the fact that the Helpline receives no public funding, it operates entirely on the generosity and support of industry organisations, fundraising groups and individuals. It’s also sold silicone wristbands to raise funds and A2 posters which promote the service to those who work in the construction industry and their families.
In recent times there has been an emphasis on wellbeing in the workplace with a particular emphasis on mental health. The Construction Industry Helpline is designed to offer helpful advice to people facing difficult times as a result of unexpected circumstances such as accident, illness or bereavement and it’s hoped that the industry as a whole will benefit from this initiative.
Work related stress is the most second most commonly reported cause of occupational health here in the UK and accounts for a whopping 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health. This costs British industry double the amount that workplace injuries cost.
Another resource that’s available to workers in the construction industry is the #HelpGBworkwell initiative which aims to raise awareness and encourage behavioural change via the appropriate communication methods and tools by:
· Using insight research methods to determine the most appropriate methods and messages to influence the target audience
· Relaunching the Stress eBulletin and web community in order to extend their communication reach, targeting SMEs in particular
· Publishing a revised suite of guidance materials
· Delivered a National Stress Summit in March, 2017
· Collaborating with industry stakeholders, the health and safety community and HR professionals to promote key messages through the relevant channels.
According to the World Health Organisation, despite the fact that more women are affected by depression than men, men are more vulnerable to the effects of stress over time. A worrying fact is that men who experience the effects of stress or depression are less likely to seek help as they are more likely to see this as a weakness. This is one of the factors that has led to such a high rate of suicide in young men, an issue that we need to address as a society.
The Lighthouse Club’s Construction Industry Helpline and the #HelpGBworkwell initiative are two resources available to construction industry workers that aim to help address this situation. The Helpline in particular, offers workers in the construction industry and their families an opportunity to talk to somebody who understand the nature of the construction sector and support them so that they feel more secure and confident in their work roles which will result in a happier working environment.