|Today, two construction workers will take their own life.
Male site workers are three times more likely to take their own lives than the average UK male.
THESE SHOCKING statistics have led a group of local businesses and trade federations to join forces for Somerset’s first Mental Health in Construction Conference on 16th May to be held at The Canalside Bridgwater to coincide with National Mental Health Awareness Week.
Becky Wright, speaker at the conference, local Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Psychotherapist and founder of New Leaf Design said: “When I heard these statistics, I knew I had to do something. The conference aims to raise awareness within the construction industry locally and to encourage a mental health programme which drives a culture of speaking out. We decided to start by making the construction industry in Somerset the most mentally healthy place to work.”
The conference will bring together the construction, mental health and local community support industries to share experiences and explore ways of making small changes that make big differences. The organisers hope that everyone who attends the conference will sign the ‘Building Mental Health Charter’.
One of the guest speakers on the day will be Bill Hill, CEO of The Lighthouse Club, which provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families.
Martyn Coyd, OBE, head of health and safety at Construction Health and Safety UK, will also speak at the conference. Martin spent 18 years in the Royal Engineers and now has a leading role in the UK’s Building Mental Health Framework.
As well as speakers, there will be workshops and an appearance by the Bridgwater Voices Community Choir.
Jackie Forsey, one of the conference organisers who works for a Somerset-based building company, says: “We need to start talking about stress, depression and anxiety in order to help those in our industry who are suffering with these conditions. I would encourage everyone in the construction industry in Somerset to attend the conference in order to better understand mental health issues and enable these conversations to start”.