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Focus on mental health increases

04 May 2017

Comment on a mental health survey has been released by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

With figures including 25% of workers in construction-related roles had considered taking their own lives due to workplace stress - many of which will be directly or closely linked to the FM sector - the BESA has said further action is urgently required.

More than a third of junior staff and graduates admitted having suicidal thoughts, which the association described as "even more alarming".

BESA chief executive Paul McLaughlin said: "Arguably, the most worrying statistic was the fact that 90% of those affected by suicidal thoughts, or who knew someone who had taken their own lives, did not turn to their employer for help.

"Fear of losing their jobs and the stigma associated with mental health means far too many people in our industry just struggle on.

"This needs to be tackled head on now," he said.

A total of 55% of construction workers had experienced mental health issues, with 41% having problems related to their current workplace, the survey conducted by Construction News said.

These figures are double the national average, said the BESA, which also conducted its own survey on workplace mental health.

This showed that 80% of contractors believe workplace mental health will have a growing impact on business over the next five to 10 years.

A further 30% of employers said they found it difficult to manage mental health issues within their workforce.

Mr McLaughlin said the need for employers and work colleagues to establish cultures for everyone to feel able to discuss mental health issues "is vital".

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