Online hub to enforce better mental health strategies


* Disclaimer: this article includes references to mental illness and suicide. Resources and support links can be found at the bottom. 

A construction taskforce has created an online hub to make mental health services and resources more accessible to workers in the industry.

Make It Visible support banner.
Credit: Make It Visible.

The Make It Visible (MIV) taskforce has launched an online portal fit with resources and services for construction workers who are experiencing mental health issues and need access to support.  

The taskforce is led by the Construction Leadership Council, the CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, Bill Hill, and managing director of Mates in Mind, Sarah Meek. 

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) provided funding for the site, which will be managed and curated by Lighthouse.

Need for accessible mental health services 

Research by the academic lead of the taskforce, ​professor Billy Hare of Glasgow Caledonian University BEAM Research Centre, revealed that suicide rates in the industry were at 33.82 per 100,000 people in 2021. 

Breaching the 30/100,000 threshold, there was an 84% increase from 2015 in deaths for workers in professional and managerial positions. For skilled workers, the rate jumped by 21% compared to 2015 numbers, and for plant operators and ‘unskilled’ workers, the rates rose by 18% and 16% respectively. 

This research affirms the wider issue of construction suicides being triple the national average for men in the UK, and stress-related sick leave becoming more common. 

During a video event for MIV, 450 attendees took part in a poll discussing the priorities and strategies needed to better manage mental health. 

Among the biggest strategies proposed in the poll included having wellbeing champions on site, and more government-backed policies and funding. 

In terms of cultural changes, mental health first aid (MHFA) training, suicide first aid training, and developing an indsutry-wide maturity measure for mental health support were ranked as high priorites. 

Inside the website 

The website includes resources and training avenues for wellbeing champions and MHFAs.

This service includes an online anonymous system for individuals to record their interventions with the workers they are supporting, as well as support for themselves. 

Other features include educational information and learning tools covering mental, physical and financial wellbeing, with links to initiatives that help with specific issues in these areas. 

To learn more about MIV’s new portal, click here.

To access the full results and research from MIV’s video event, click here.  

For support and information from the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, click here

For support and information from Mates in Mind, click here.

More services  

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 recommend Major firms launch mental health campaigns.

Get industry news in 5 minutes!

A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.