Looking After Your Mental Health

At APHC, we know that a career on the tools is rewarding but also very demanding, even at the best of times.

83% of men in the construction industry have experienced a mental health issue and 91% have felt overwhelmed according to a study conducted by Mates in Mind.

Understanding how to manage stress and self-help can make a world of difference.

Knowing the signs

Acknowledging that you may be beginning to struggle is the first, and probably most difficult part of coping. Noticing the warning signs is a crucial first step before working up strategies to mitigate stress. For example:

  • Feelings of exhaustion
  • Bad temper
  • Working late
  • A worsening diet
  • Withdrawal from conversation or group activities

Speaking up

It also helps to talk things through with someone in an environment where you feel you can speak freely. Unburdening emotions can often provide clarity of thought and lead to a decrease in the levels of stress and pressure that you’re feeling. The individual you talk to needs to understand that they must listen and give you the time and space to work things through, without trying to tell you how you should think and feel.

Talk to your people

Likewise, if you recognise these signs in a colleague, be the person to provide a safety net and check in with them every once in a while. Offer to help where you can, invite them into your group, include them in activities outside of work and where possible, ask if they’ve considered or are aware of the support available through charity services such as Samaritans. Being able to start the conversation can make a huge difference to someone struggling to cope.

Employers should seek to understand from employees whether there are any aspects of their work which are negatively impacting their mental health, as there could be things done or put in place which could help without adversely affecting the business.

As employers, we have a legal and moral ‘duty of care’ for the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and when it comes to their mental health the first step is to be able to recognise when someone might be struggling.

Change doesn’t happen overnight and individual relationships between employees need to be developed over time, but employers can start by taking an active interest in their employees’ mental health by asking how they are.

If you’re feeling down you can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123.

The Construction Industry Helpline, run by The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, also offers a free and confidential 24/7 helpline for workers in the construction industry and their families.

They also offer a free 24/7 text service for those who would feel more comfortable texting rather than talking and have a Helpline App that offers free resources and self-help tools that can be accessed at any time.

The Construction Industry Helpline:

UK: 0345 605 1956

ROI: 1800 939 122


UK: HARDHAT to 85258

ROI: HARDHAT to 50808

The Construction Industry Helpline App:

Search: Construction Industry Helpline


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