Ex-England footballer Trevor Steven recently met with Maria Caulfield MP to discuss mental health in construction
Last year, Causeway launched a lobbying campaign to encourage companies to pledge greater support for mental health.
Part of the campaign advocates for mental health provision to be included in health and safety and social value procurement conditions in construction contracts.
A recent industry survey of 1,439 construction site workers found that 56% are currently experiencing or have experienced mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The findings also showed that 12% of respondents had experienced or were experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Protecting the workforce
Maria Caulfield, minister for mental health and women’s health strategy, said: “Businesses must create a work environment that supports and protects their workers, both physically and mentally.
“It’s great to see Causeway and Lendlease taking positive steps to destigmatise mental health conversations in the construction industry and I hope this signals lasting change for the wider industry to champion mental health support for their employees.”
Steven commented: “We strongly believe that intervention on site is key to improving mental health in construction and that we need to commit to doing better, which is why we’re campaigning for mental health to be as seriously regarded in the industry as health and safety.
“We’ve had some very frank conversations over the last 18 months about the reality of working in the construction industry and it is clear mental health is the true health and safety crisis in the construction industry. We hope we can count on the support of the government to back our campaign and help us move the dial on this most important issue.”
The meeting took place at Google’s King’s Cross development, where Lendlease is implementing mental health initiatives to support its workforce.
Anna Evans, public sector framework director for Lendlease Construction, said: “We’re determined to improve the conversation around mental health and it was really encouraging to see Trevor and Maria Caulfield on site discussing an issue that, as a society, we’re still getting comfortable with talking about.
“In construction, our people are our greatest asset and to safeguard their mental health we need to be proactive. That’s why we’ve trained 500 members of staff as mental health first aiders over the last decade, and we’ll continue to invest time and energy on providing the best possible mental health support for our workforce.”
Causeway is asking companies to sign its mental health pledge here.
For additional support or advice, contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123. Alternatively, you can also access support via the industry charity Lighthouse Club. You can call the support line on 0345 605 1956 or text HARDHAT to 85258.