HBF extends free mental health awareness training

18 Sep, 2023

New dates released for SME home builders and the supply chain to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Month

Even more workers from the home building industry and supply chain will have access to mental health training as the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Lighthouse Construction Industry charity extend their partnership to deliver additional sessions.

Thousands of SME home building companies operate across the country, collectively employing a large proportion of the industry's workforce. Unlike larger companies, many do not have the capacity to put in place bespoke mental health support for their employees, contractors and supply chain. To address this HBF and Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity have confirmed new dates for complimentary training to support these businesses and ensure support is available for any workers who are struggling.

The construction industry has a higher risk of suicide than many other sectors with two construction work taking their own life in the UK and Ireland every day. However, more than 70% of the construction industry do not recognise the early signs of mental health problems.

The free mental health awareness training sessions have been developed to directly answer that by building awareness and understanding to encourage open conversation and a supportive culture. More than 150 workers have already completed the training.

Neil Jefferson, Managing Director at the Home Builders Federation, said: “The number of people in home building impacted by poor mental health is devastating and, as an industry, we are committed to doing all we can to help those in need.

“Normalising conversations around difficult thoughts and feelings is critical to breaking the stigma and overcoming the barriers that stop many getting the help they need.

“This free mental health training will support the home building industry to safeguard its workers and we are encouraging our members to invite their supply chain to sign up and play a part in tackling the industry’s mental health crisis.”

Sarah Bolton, Chief Operating Officer at the Lighthouse Construction Industry charity, said: “Our aim is to ensure no construction worker, or their family, feels alone in a crisis. These mental health awareness courses help to expand wellbeing training and increase awareness of support out there.”

The stigma surrounding mental health is considered a significant barrier preventing people working within the home building industry from reaching out for support. HBF began working with Lighthouse Construction Charity in 2019 to help address this via a number of initiatives. Since then, more than 1,000 mental health first aiders have been trained.

The free mental health awareness sessions will be held on the 5 October and 1 December 2023, via Zoom. HBF members can book via the website:

Those associated with a HBF membership organisation are encouraged to email skillspartnership@hbf.co.uk to request a free booking code.

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