Orwell Housing Association and Ipswich Town Community Trust join forces to support better mental health within the local construction industry.
Construction workers across East Anglia are being urged to talk openly about their emotions and seek help when needed in a bid to improve the industry’s alarming mental health statistics.
Yesterday, Orwell Housing Association, in collaboration with Ipswich Town Community Trust, brought together key construction partners across East Anglia to discuss causes of mental health challenges and examine how, as an industry, they can support better mental health within construction.
Construction has one of the worst rates of mental health issues in any industry. In the UK, male workers in this industry are 3.7 times more likely to commit suicide than the national average. A 2020 report by the Chartered Institute of Building found that 26% of construction industry professionals thought about taking their own lives, and that between 70% - 87% of respondents experienced depression or anxiety.
Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, the popular event featured guest speakers including Ali Livingstone, author of Broken Blue Line, Emma McKay, Chair of Chartered Institute of Building Assist Manager and Joe Thomson, Ipswich Talk Club Captain from Talk Club to look at the reasons those working within the industry face such challenges, share stories and to discuss together, how the industry can improve the current picture.
Greg Dodds, Director Assistant Director of Development and Growth at Orwell, said “Construction workers will often experience high workloads, short deadlines, and financial pressures. Within construction, the male dominated culture often prevents people from speaking out and seeking help, and we want to change this. It is time we all started talking about mental health and how we feel and really listening to each other so we can address these alarming statistics.”
“This event really was just the starting point for us. We hope to hold more in the future in partnership with ITFC Community Trust to reach even more people and will continue to promote open conversations about mental health within the industry and signpost to support, protecting our colleagues now and for the future.”
Leanne Smith, Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Ipswich Town Community Trust, said “It was our pleasure to collaborate with Orwell Housing Association and host this key event around mental health and wellbeing. While work continues to address the balance, we recognise football and construction both still attract significantly higher proportions of males, as workers or fans for example, so using the power of football and the football club brand to open conversations around mental health and how to access support is vitally important. We look forward to expanding on this event, in partnership with Orwell Housing Association, in the coming months.”