CIF Construction Safety Week 2022 is scheduled across the month of October beginning on Monday the 10th on World Mental Health Day. The focus this year is on supporting the Lighthouse Club’s Help Inside a Hard Hat campaign.
To kick things off for Construction Safety Week, McKeon Group marked World Mental Health Day 2022 with a catch-up in DCU. We currently have several projects underway in DCU, so most of our site-based staff are based there, so it was the perfect location for us to all gather. This catch-up aimed to highlight that it’s not just about talking but listening too – if someone starts to open up, the best thing you can do is listen – no one needs to have the solutions, just being an ear can help.
We started the day by grabbing a coffee and some breakfast in DCU’s main restaurant, followed by a coffee-style chat in one of their lecture theatres. It was a lovely opportunity to take a couple of hours out to focus and regroup before the work week began.
Ruan Kennedy, Chartered C. Psychol.PsSI, Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist and Senior Counsellor at Dublin City University, kindly joined us to give us a little insight into stress management and provided us with great exercises on how to manage our stress levels.
We finished up with a little gift from the company of a mindfulness colouring book and some colouring pencils along with information about our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
Help Inside the Hard Hat
The Help Inside the Hard Hat campaign, aims to raise awareness of poor mental health within our industry. In the UK and Ireland, two construction workers take their own lives every working day. As well as this, stress, anxiety and depression account for a fifth of all work-related illnesses.
This campaign is providing a huge range of proactive support and resources for our construction community including a 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline, a free app and mental health training.
Mental health covers a wide range of issues, including mild or moderate anxiety and stress, drug and alcohol abuse and disorders such as severe depression and schizophrenia. However, workers’ mental health and well-being also relate to their general mental and emotional health and their ability to cope with the normal stresses of life.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 18.5% of the Irish population has a mental health disorder. This places Ireland 3rd highest in Europe (after Finland and the Netherlands) in the estimated prevalence of a mental health issue.
There is a need for a supportive infrastructure within the sector, given the larger proportion of men in the workforce and the traditional beliefs amongst Irish men to avoid seeking psychological support for mental health issues. In recognition of the importance of mental well-being in the construction sector, the CIF conducted research with employers to explore their experiences of managing staff and the key issues they face concerning mental health.
Companies across Ireland overwhelmingly accepted that mental health is a pressing issue in the construction industry, with 98% of employers agreeing that it has important health implications.
The issue of managing staff mental health is no doubt made more difficult by some employees who may be unwilling or uncomfortable with reporting mental health difficulties. Interestingly, 68% of companies believe the construction sector has a serious issue with staff underreporting issues with their mental health in the workplace.
McKeon Group Health and Safety Manager Veronica Lavelle said: “It’s good to talk but also so important to listen if someone opens up. You don’t need the answers or solution, just being there to listen is a big help.”
Learn More About the Lighthouse Club
The Lighthouse Club is the only charity that provides physical, mental, and financial well-being support to construction workers and their families in Ireland & the UK.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, the helpline provides the first point of contact for those who need to access a range of completely confidential support services.