Strength and toughness is at the centre of the construction industry. But there is one type of strength that is often overlooked in the industry. Mental health.
Those within the sector are often put off from sharing their feelings and emotions. It is often seen as a weakness, not a strength. And apparently there is the sentiment that even if you’re struggling, you should hide your head in your hard hat in the hope that no one will notice your pain.
However, with construction workers being six times more likely to die from suicide than falling from a height, this needs to change. The industry and the jobs within them are stressful. There is job uncertainty and a lack of stability. The prospect of moving away and being far from family. There are the pressures of strict deadlines alongside the necessities of high quality. It can be hard for anyone, even the strongest of men.
As an industry, there is a stickler for health and safety. But what is not considered within these guidelines is mental health. Keeping people safe from their own thoughts and emotions.
According to experts, a self help environment needs to be created. Neil Martin, managing director of the European construction business at Lendlease stated:
“When you look up at a building, it’s not all about sheer strength; it’s about the different elements supporting each other.”
He wants to alter perceptions and encourage mental health to be seen as a strength rather than a weakness. He feels that due to the team work nature of the industry this should establish a change in attitude.
So what do you think? Do you think that mental health should be emphasised as a strength? Let us know in the comments below.