Van Elle, the UK’s leading ground engineering contractor, is supporting World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 by asking employees to take the time to talk to each other and #StartTheConversation.
Statistically, every day two people in the UK construction industry take their own life, and one-in-four UK construction workers will contemplate suicide.
Angela Blakesley, mental health instructor and trainer at Van Elle, said: “The risk of suicide for those working in building and construction trades in the UK is 1.6 times higher than the national average. Suicide is a bigger killer on construction sites than falls from height; it’s far too common in our industry and all companies have a duty to protect and support the workforce in being pro-active to reduce this statistic.
“We are encouraging all of our employees and people we work with to take the time to talk to their colleagues and peers so we might be able to see if someone is struggling.
“We have mental health first aiders on all of our teams throughout our organisation and our Employee Assistance Programme is available for free to all our employees if they need to talk to someone.”
Last year, more than 6,500 people in the UK took their own lives and the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown is being linked to mental health issues across the country.
A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that almost half the country had felt anxious or worried during the summer months, with around one-in-six people saying they had felt “hopeless”.
The survey also revealed that around 10% of people had experienced recent suicidal thoughts.
You can find more information on World Suicide Prevention Day through the Samaritans website here.