Construction Industry Suicide Rates Increase – What can be done further?

Construction Industry Suicide Rates Increase – What can be done further?
New studies show that there has been an unfortunate increase in the rate of suicide deaths in the construction industry. The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity commissioned Glasgow Caledonian University to carry out research on suicide statics from 2015 to 2019.

The article below will provide you with information on the research carried out, the results of their findings as well as what the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity do, and how they can help. This article also contains information about the Mates in Mind charity including what they do, their mission, and the tailored programmes they can offer businesses.

The information in this article has been taken from the Construction News – “Increase in suicide rate shows site workers still need to be reached’’ article and the Mates in Mind website.

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The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity

Glasgow Caledonian University Findings
An analysis of suicides by workers occupation exposed that the number per 100,000 for construction workers rose from 26 suicides to 29 in the four years leading up to 2019.
The findings from the data show that there has been a change in the historical ratios with those who work in the construction sector. It remains that the construction sector workers are three times more likely to take their own life than in other sectors.
Those in other sectors such as non-manual occupations, such as managers and professionals have lower rates which have seen an overall drop-in rate from just under 7 suicides per 100,000 people in 2015, to just under 5 suicides per 100,000 people in 2019. However, workers such as labourers have seen their rate rise from 48 to just over 73 suicides per 100,000 people.
The research was led by Professor Billy Hare within the research he has developed a ‘dashboard’ which identifies data which can be measured on construction safety, health, and wellbeing. This dashboard will be updated yearly meaning it will allow organisations, policymakers, and researchers to track progress, view trends and inform future decision making.   

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity Support
The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity has launched several new initiatives to try and reach out to more people, these new initiatives are:

  • ‘Help Inside the hard hat’ awareness campaign, which encourages people to consider mental wellbeing and signposts
  • Lighthouse Beacons, which is a nationwide network of ‘safe places’ being set up where those who are in the industry can talk in trust to others.
  • Supporting Apprentices – this is a pilot scheme that aims to instill a positive appreciation of mental wellbeing with those that are starting out in the industry. The charity is going to provide awareness training to 1,000 apprentices. As well as this they are also working closely with the Rainy Day Trust to provide free tools and aid those who are struggling with their apprentices because they cannot afford the items needed.
  • Mind Builder – This is a project to connect people in the industry with their wellbeing.

The Lighthouse Charity also have a construction industry helpline which can be called free 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. 0345 605 1956 in the UK or 112 in the Republic of Ireland.

Search for ‘Lighthouse’ on the app store or google play and this will give you access to a free app containing useful information are free wellbeing training.

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Mates in Mind – The construction industry's answer to mental ill health

Mates in Mind 
Bernard Sims Associates are a supporter of the Mates in Mind Charity. Mates in Mind specialise in supporting the construction and transport & logistics industries with mental wellbeing as well as supporting businesses with their wellbeing culture by providing coaching and guidance.  
About Mates in Mind
During their first two years they were able to help hundreds of organisations within the construction sector to transform the mental health culture of their workplaces. Through their tailored programme, they have been able to support organisations of all sizes to start conversations about mental health.
Due to our successes within the construction sector, we have gained recognition across a range of industries.
As a result of this they have been able to expand their focus to include workers in industries beyond construction, enabling more UK workplaces to drive a positive change. However, whilst they are delighted to be supporting organisations across additional sectors, Mates in Mind remain committed to supporting the construction industry and achieving their initial target of reaching 75% of the industry by 2025. Mates in Mind will continue the mission to transform the construction sector, spreading their message and providing the ongoing support needed for organisations to take action. 
Mates in Mind run a supporter programme which consists of four key elements: 

1) To educate and inform the workforce.

2) To support organisations in creating the right programme for them.

3) To visibly support the framework throughout organisations with relevant and accessible communication materials.

4) To help build an evidence base. 

  For more information on how Mates in Mind as well as how they can help, please click on the link below which will take you directly to the Mates in Mind website.

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