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  • Kyle Wright

Parliamentary Group cites Mental Health as “National Emergency” in sector

The days when employee ‘well-being’ was solved by having a fruit delivery once a week, are now almost laughable. Back in the 90’s there was a plethora of employee programmes that admirably attempted to deal with physical health, but fell way short when it came to mental health.

Now, an All-Party Parliamentary Group – Issues Affecting Men and Boys has recommended that incorporating mental health sections into contracts would encourage employers in the supply chain to put in place mental health support for the industry.UK charity Mates In Mind puts the problem into perspective. “Construction work has a variety of pressures from tight contracts to long hours, time away from loved-ones and managing budgets, not to mention the added stresses of the pandemic and now the rising costs of supplies. Additionally, within construction lies a "macho" culture which prevents many workers from seeking support and help when they may need it, putting further stress on their own mental health and wellbeing”.

The incorporation of mental health sections in contracts was one of a number of recommendations made in the group’s paper, which said such an initiative could also be “rolled out into other high-risk occupations”, such as farming and seafaring.

The charity’s managing director, Sarah Meek, welcomes the idea and told Construction News that including sections on mental health in procurement documents would further support mental health best practices.

She said: “It's about asking: what are you going to do to look after your teams? And then pushing that down through the supply chain as well. So when awarding the contract, at every stage people should be asked proactively, what is their approach to mental health and how are they demonstrating it?”

Let’s all look out for each other.

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