Research shows mental health crisis in construction sector

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  Posted by: electime      23rd March 2022

Toolstation is today launching an initiative aimed at those affected by the mental health crisis in the construction industry.

The mental health awareness campaign is designed to help equip tradespeople with the tools they need to look after their mental health. The move comes as research commissioned by Toolstation through the On The Tools network shows 72 per cent of those who work in the construction industry feel there isn’t enough being done in the sector to address mental health.

The survey also shows that a shocking 52 per cent of those working in the industry have experienced suicidal thoughts, while 23 per cent of those know someone in the sector who has attempted suicide.

The findings also show that 45 per cent don’t feel comfortable talking about mental health problems at work.

When it comes to what can be done, 56 per cent felt there could be more honest conversations around mental health, while 44 per cent think there should be better access to professional help or treatment. 31 percent thought there should be better support at their place of work.

The research also found that those in the industry have been affected by the following issues:

  • 55 per cent of those in the industry are affected by financial issues
  • 50 per cent were affected by their workload
  • 33 per cent experienced mental health issues because of relationship problems
  • 29 per cent were affected by a lack of professional support
  • 29 per cent felt worse because of their physical health
  • 27 per cent were affected by loneliness
  • 26 per cent felt affected  by work conditions

In a first for the construction industry, Toolstation have worked with Ocean Outdoor to create a giant billboard offering immediate support to tradespeople to help overcome their worries and mental health issues. It means tradespeople can privately live chat with a trained expert from the Lighthouse Club charity via a QR code. The activation gives tradespeople and construction workers the opportunity to get instant, confidential expert advice on the topics that affect them the most, like  mental health issues, money worries, insomnia and work life imbalance and alcoholism.

‘The World’s Most Supportive Poster’ is positioned opposite Ocean Outdoor’s Liverpool Media Wall, positioned opposite a construction site and Liverpool Lime Street station, capturing construction workers as they arrive in to the city for work. It will be on display at the site up until Tuesday 29th March between 6am-10am during the week.

Although the conversations will remain confidential, the Liverpool Media Wall will display what’s on the minds of local tradespeople and it is hoped that this level of visibility will help end the stigma of talking about mental health within the industry.

Receipts from Toolstation branches in the surrounding Liverpool area will also include a free 24/7 number for the Construction Industry Helpline which is managed and funded by the Lighthouse Club. The helpline provides confidential support for those in the construction industry.

Greg Richardson, Head of Marketing at Toolstation, says: “Our research shows that there’s a mental health crisis in the construction industry with almost one in five knowing someone that has attempted to take their own life. Work in the sector is often characterised by limited term contracts and long unsociable hours, away from family. Those who work for smaller organisations or are sole traders in the construction industry might not have easy access to mental health support, so this campaign is an important step in raising awareness that everyone in the industry can quickly talk with someone who can help.”

Bill Hill, CEO of Lighthouse Club says: “ We are absolutely delighted to be working with Toolstation on this significant issue within our industry. It is so important that we get the message of support to the “boots on the ground” that we are there for them 24/7. If our workforce don’t know we are there for them we simply can’t help them in crisis. I am convinced that partnering with Toolstation and using the medium of Outdoor Advertising will make a significant impact and ultimately save lives.”

Darryl George, Executive Creative Director at krow Group says: We’re extremely proud of the positive impact ‘The World’s Most Supportive Poster’ will make in the lives of many Toolstation customers. It builds on the brand’s ‘Tools and more for any task’ mantra in a meaningful and memorable way. We can’t wait to make it happen.”

Ocean Outdoor head of marketing and events Helen Haines said: “This is a great initiative with clear messaging and an immediate call to action. Digital out of home is the perfect medium for this campaign by reaching tradespeople directly and immediately in the environment where they work. It’s an important issue, making the campaign a worthy winner in our digital creative competition.”

The campaign also includes a new six episode ‘Mental Health Under Construction’ podcast hosted by Ryan Ridgeway and includes social media and digital activity.