HBF hosts parliamentary event on mental health in homebuilding

24 Feb, 2023

The event, sponsored by Dean Russell, the Member of Parliament for Watford, took place on Wednesday 22 February. It is part of HBF’s work to breakdown the stigma associated with poor mental health and to highlight the support available within the industry.

People working in house building are amongst the worst affected by mental health issues. Construction workers are nearly four times more likely to take their own lives compared to other sectors[1] and two do so every single working day of the year. The event saw the publication of a new report, highlighting the huge amount of work going on within the industry to help address these shocking statistics.

Construction workers are nearly four times more likely to take their own lives compared to other sectors

MPs from across the political spectrum attended the event alongside home building employees and representatives from industry mental health charity the Lighthouse Club. It provided an opportunity to discuss the steps the industry is taking to support workers and highlight the resources available, allowing MPs to help raise awareness in their own constituencies.

Among the industry representatives were multiple Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs), who are trained in how to signpost their colleagues to appropriate mental health support. MHFAs play a vital role in helping to build a positive mental health culture and support network both at a site-level and within the company itself.

To date, the industry has trained over 1,000 MHFAs, with many companies planning to train even more. Home builders are also supporting their workforce in a number of other ways including through mental health awareness training, employee assistance programmes (EAP) and toolbox talks. Further information on what the industry is doing to support its workforce can be found in HBF’s new report, which was launched at the reception.

HBF’s Executive Chairman, Stewart Baseley, who spoke at the event alongside Jo Mann, the Chair of HBF’s Mental Health Group, Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Club, and Dean Russell MP said:

“I am delighted that so many industry representatives and Members of Parliament were able to join us to raise awareness of mental health issues in construction. This is a key priority for our industry, and whilst significant progress is being made there is much more to do. Over the coming months, HBF’s Mental Health Group will be doing all it can to help raise awareness among site-based staff and the industry’s supply chains of the fantastic support available to them”.

Read more on HBF’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign.

[1] Lighthouse Club, ONS Statistics Show Construction Suicide Rate Increase in 2021, December 2022

Mental Health Awareness Campaign - 2023 update.pdf

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