Big Brew’s mental health helpline has revealed that 30.4% of the texts it receives are from tradespeople experiencing suicidal thoughts
Three in 10 of the texts to a new mental health helpline service set up specifically for the UK construction industry are cries for help from tradespeople who are considering suicide.
The text service – which was set up by charity Band of Builders in a bid to tackle the mental health crisis in the construction industry – is seeing that texts about suicide have accounted for 30.4% of the messages to the Big Brew’s helpline since the service was launched this time last year.
The figures come at a time when the suicide rate amongst construction workers has risen for the fifth year in a row and is more than three times that of other careers or professions.
Texts about suicide are nearly double the number seeking help for depression (16.2%). Stress and anxiety (15.4%), relationship issues (14.2%) and isolation (14%) were the other main reasons why construction workers reached out for help.
Data from the text service also shows that 44.2% of builders and contractors using the service did so during the working day – and 20.3% texted between midnight and 2am.
It also shows that Fridays are the busiest day of the week for service usage – with a share of 22.4% – and the overall total is 80.6% for the working week.
Gavin Crane, a Big Brew spokesperson, said that addressing mental health challenges is a moral imperative for the construction industry.
“The construction industry is known for its demanding and often high-pressure work environment,” said Crane. “Unfortunately, these conditions can contribute to elevated stress levels, anxiety and other mental health issues among tradespeople. It is crucial that we recognise and address these challenges to create a healthier and more supportive industry culture.
“We are committed to raising awareness about mental health in construction and providing resources to support tradespeople in need – and the Big Brew is a way of creating safe spaces for open conversations, reducing stigma and promoting mental wellbeing.”
Big Brew’s annual campaign, encouraging construction workers to open up about their mental health over a cup of tea, will this year coincide with World Mental Health Day (10 October).
More than 300 Big Brew coffee mornings are expected to be hosted across the UK.
Crane added: “The figures from our text service are just the tip of the iceberg but do provide a window into just how big the mental health crisis is in the UK construction industry – which is why we are urging more people to get involved with the Big Brew, as it’s a great way to encourage community engagement and improve awareness of both mental health issues and ways to seek help for members of the UK construction industry.”
To register interest in hosting a Big Brew event, click here.
Construction workers can text BOB to 85258 to access mental health support.