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Fostering good mental health in our construction teams

World Mental Health Day takes place every year on October 10th and is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues and promoting mental wellbeing.

For the team at Built Interiors, it gives us an opportunity to spread awareness about mental health issues in the construction industry, reduce stigma, and encourage open discussions about mental wellbeing.

Mental health issues in the construction industry

In what is still a very male-dominated field, and where talking about mental health is still considered taboo at many canteen tables, fostering a supportive culture couldn’t be more important.

According to “Mental Health in the Construction Sector”, a Construction Industry Federation (CIF) survey carried out in 2020, poor mental health in our industry is the result of a combination of work-related and non-work-related stressors. 70% of employers attribute poor mental health in the construction sector in part to a work-related issue.

Managing mental health in the workforce remains challenging, given its sensitive nature and the fact that there is a problem with underreporting. The report also uncovered that employee mental health is recognised as a critical issue, with employers acknowledging they have a responsibility to look after the mental wellbeing of their staff. At Built Interiors, we do not take that responsibility lightly.

Our team is Built like a family

The level of service, quality, and customer satisfaction that Built Interiors consistently provides all depends on one thing: our people. The way we’ve come to understand the secret of our success, our people don’t simply work for the company, our people are the company. We’re like a family unit. There’s a sense of trust and reassurance on every project. It also means we care about each other and look out for one another’s health and wellbeing. We may have a Safe T Cert for our commitment to physical safety protocols, but we care just as much about our team’s mental safety.

Seeing the signs when someone is struggling

Recognising the unique struggles and challenges faced by individuals in the construction industry is vital to fostering a supportive work environment and promoting mental health.

The construction sector is known for its demanding nature, with workers often experiencing a range of stressors that can impact their mental wellbeing. Understanding and appreciating what can cause stress for our people has helped us build a more inclusive and compassionate workplace, meaning we’ve reduced the stigma around mental health and enabled our employees to thrive and focus on their work.

The physical can affect the mental. So too can the financial

The toll that construction work takes on the body can be immense. Workers who suffer from chronic pain, injuries, and fatigue can experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and exhaustion.

Financial pressures are another common challenge faced by construction workers, especially with the ongoing cost of living crisis. The burden of rising bills can cause significant stress and lead to poor mental health. We try to alleviate this by paying our staff a fair wage and providing them with stable employment.

Work-life balance

Balancing work and family life can be a real challenge for people working in construction. Early starts, long hours, and demanding schedules often leave little time for personal lives. But workers need time off to recharge their batteries and connect with their families. So we provide flexible scheduling wherever we can to support a healthy work-life balance and enable our employees to enjoy their personal lives.

Everyone is different

Mental health issues can manifest very differently from one person to the next. Some people might exhibit obvious signs of stress and anxiety, while others can be good at camouflaging depression or other mental health conditions.

Creating a more supportive and understanding work environment reduces the stigma around mental health. By normalising conversations around mental health, our employees feel more comfortable seeking help when needed and offering support to their teammates.

Mental health in construction needs to be tackled head-on

Understanding everyone has unique struggles, and engaging with workers on site, promotes a culture of safety and wellbeing around mental health. Prioritising the mental health of our workers improves not only their mental wellbeing but overall job satisfaction, productivity, and staff retention too.

If you’d like to find out more about the culture of mental and physical health and safety at Built Interiors, or more about what it’s like to work on our team, get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you!

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