Band of Builders bid to stop industry suicides


*This article will include information about mental health and suicide. Contact details for various support can be found at the bottom of this article*

The third annual ‘Big Brew’ campaign looks to tackle the growing mental health issues affecting tradespeople.

Band of Builders Big Brew logo.
Credit: Band of Builders.

New developments in the organisation’s campaign include the launch of a new text line service, where tradespeople can reach out and get support 24 hours a day by texting BOB to 85258

People can also get support directly through the BoB website and receive confidential therapy through phone calls, live chat, and WhatsApp. 

What is a ‘Big Brew?’ 

The campaign was launched in 2021 as a way to bring members of the industry together to talk and raise awareness about mental health

The ‘tea scale’ provides an icebreaker for people to show how they are feeling, going from overwhelmed to underwhelmed in parallel to the amount of milk added to a cup of tea. 

People can volunteer to host brew events by registering on the organisation’s site. 

The first campaign saw 170 events that raised enough money to provide free counselling support for the past two years. 


Mental health and suicide are issues that affect all sectors in the construction industry. 

Suicide rates among men in construction are triple the national average for men in the UK, according to statistics from Mates in Mind

Construction is a male-dominated industry, with long hours and over half the workforce made up of self-employed, agency workers, or zero-hour contract workers, according to ONS Statistics.

With financial insecurity a main cause of distress, there is both a stigma in seeking help and little agency provided when taking time off. 

A majority (59%) of construction workers who have requested time off, did not tell their employers that it was for their mental health, this was revealed in a survey by Construction News. 

BoB’s campaigns aim to remove the stigma of mental health in the industry by providing a space for people to talk with their peers. 

Services for support 

To get involved with a Big Brew event, click here

To learn more about Band of Builders, click here.

Free support can also be accessed from Mates in Mind here.

Rethink Mental Illness can help here

The Sandy Health Centre offers an A-Z of mental health organisations here.

Construction Sport offers advice on coping with mental health difficulties here.

You can find more advice about mental health at Mind here. 

If you are experiencing poor mental health, or need someone to talk to, you can also contact the Samaritans here

If you found this article helpful, we also recommend Thousands to get mental health support after stark suicide rates. 

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