"Male site workers are 3x more likely to commit suicide than the average male in the UK."
In simple terms, poor mental health is when our mental health is not where we want it to be. It has an impact on how we think, feel and manage to deal with our day to day tasks. We are all used to having our down days, but having continuous poor mental health could be a sign of a mental illness - which should never be taken lightly.
The main cause of poor mental health in the construction industry is put down to the long, demanding hours, working away from home for weeks at a time, the poor level of job satisfaction and the "tough guy image" that many construction workers have to live up to.
It is very important that people who suffer from poor mental health and mental illnesses are never suffering alone. Talking to people is so important, you should never bottle up how you feel.
There is evidence to show that men who adhere to the masculine ideals of society are less likely to speak out about their mental health issues and get help for them.
This relates back to the "tough guy image" that many construction workers feel the need to play. It is so important that everyone talks about their emotions to someone they feel comfortable with. If you feel you don't have someone you feel comfortable telling about your emotions, go to your GP. Everything you tell them, is held in strict confidence.
Your GP can give you the help you require, whether it be in the form of tablets or therapy. Understand this - a mental illness isn't a weakness. They have proven that some mental illnesses are caused by an imbalance in hormones, which means tablets do help to supply the missing hormones. It is important to note that although you are given help, you need to work hard yourself. Taking part in therapies such as CBT is a brilliant way of helping you get better but it does require you to work hard to change how you see the world.
Overcoming the struggles of mental health is not easy, but work hard and persist, and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There are many things you can do at home also. Here in the office, we like to use mindfulness therapies when we're feeling a bit stressed. You can purchase a subscription to apps such as Calm and Headspace. There are usually options to use the app for free for a month to see if you like it.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment. It gives you 10 minutes a day to detach yourself from the daily pressures of life. Another tip is to keep a diary and write down everything that you're struggling with. This may help if you dont wish to speak about your problems. Exercising is an excellent way of attempting to improve mental health. It releases endorphins (the happy hormones) which trigger a postive feeling in the body.
Poor mental health issues are a very serious matter. You never know what anyone is going through. Be kind to everyone and ask them how they are. If you are feeling suicidal, we urge you to talk to someone or call the suicide helpline at 116 123. Even give us a message here via firstname.lastname@example.org if you just need someone to chat to. It's time to take care of you.