Earlier this month, independent housebuilder Dandara welcomed the Lighthouse Club charity to its development The Sweetings in East Malling, to discuss mental health and wellbeing with its construction workers on site.
In the construction industry – a sector in which suicide rates are alarmingly high at almost three times the national average - mental health can often be a taboo topic. According to a report by the Chartered Institute of Building, 70% of construction workers experienced depression and 87% experienced anxiety over the past year*. Looking to make a change in the industry and support its staff, Dandara enlisted the help of the ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat’ team to educate workers about the crucial support services that are on offer across the UK.
The charity gave a ‘Toolbox Talk’ to those on site, with the session focusing on the importance of looking after mental health and wellbeing at work. Dandara also supplied site with freshly cooked pizzas before and during the talk. The charity was also on hand after the talk to answer any personal questions and give one-to-one support once the talk had ended.
Robert Reardon, Senior Site Manager at The Pippins, commented: “In a largely male dominated industry where talking about mental health can seem taboo, it is easy to sweep things under the rug and pretend everything is okay. Having the Lighthouse Club charity come and talk about issues I’m sure many of us have faced, or know someone who has, really emphasised how vital it is to reach out for support when you need it.
“The talk really opened my eyes to the support that is available, and I think it’s made everyone feel more comfortable in taking the first step and asking for help if you need it. I’ d like to thank the Lighthouse Club for coming down – it was an incredibly valuable session.”
Lyndsey Gallagher, Co-Chair at the Lighthouse Club charity, added: “There are far too many construction workers struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, so we were more than happy to visit the site team at Dandara to spread the word about the important support services we provide for free. We would urge anyone who is struggling to reach out to us so they can get the support they need.”
The Lighthouse Club runs groups all across the UK. As well as providing wellbeing support to construction workers and families in need, each club organises a variety of fundraising activities including golf days, summer balls and annual dinners.
If you need support and would like to speak to someone today, please call 0345 605 1956.
To find out more about Help Inside the Hard Hat and the vital support they offer to construction workers across the UK and Ireland, visit https://www.lighthouseclub.org/help-inside-the-hard-hat/.