The statistics are grim: two construction workers take their own life on average every single day. Stress, anxiety and depression account for a fifth of all work-related illness, especially among younger workers, and the problem is growing fast with a 33% increase in reported cases since 2009.
But help is at hand. A new collaboration between Lighthouse, the construction industry charity, construction software firm COINS and Building Mental Health aims to address the problem with its new Construction Industry Helpline app.
This free mental health app will confidentially provide information, advice and guidance on many wellbeing topics including stress, anxiety, depression, anger and suicidal thoughts.
It was launched on Friday (7 December) at the Ligthouse Christmas Lunch in Westminster Park Plaza Hotel, London.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Club charity, said: “The app is aimed at construction workers and their families and complements our 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline.
"We recognise that not everyone feels comfortable talking about their feelings or personal situation, so the Construction Industry Helpline app is aimed at people who would like to find out more information about how they can perhaps help themselves or, if necessary, take the next step in seeking professional help. It is a preventative tool and aims to provide support at the initial stages of a situation so the problem does not reach a life critical stage.”
Although the construction industry is rising to the challenge of creating a healthier workplace, finding the right support is not always easy. The Lighthouse Club is already helping to drive significant change through a variety of mental health and wellbeing support programmes – but realises there is still a long way to go before the culture in construction removes the stigma of talking about mental health and wellbeing. Lighthouse hopes this freee app will combat this.
The Construction Industry Helpline explains how people can relieve the long term effects of stress, anxiety or depression, as well as providing access to other areas of support such as anger management, drug and alcohol dependency, debt management, legal advice, and emergency financial aid.
Robert Brown, the CEO of COINS, which has been developing software solutions for construction companies for 35 years, says: “Collaborating with the Lighthouse Club in building this important app to help support construction workers and their families has been a privilege. It is a great way for COINS to give something back to the construction industry and we look forward to seeing its widespread availability and hope that it will be a great help to both construction workers and their families when they need it the most.”
The Construction Industry Helpline app can be downloaded free from the App Store or Google Play.