Today, 10th October, it is World Mental Health Day, aiming to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world.
At a time where 1 in 5 admit to calling in sick to avoid workplace stress and up to 30% of us would rather avoid talking to our line managers about mental health issues directly relevant to our work, it is evident that health, safety and well-being in the workplace goes far beyond aches, pains and illness.
Built environment professionals are subject to a plethora of different workplace demands that can negatively impacts their mental health. In particular it is those working on the site of projects who typically experience higher levels of poor mental health and work-related stress. That being said, a 2011 CBI Absence and Workplace Health Survey found mental well-being to be one of the most common causes for sustained absence among both manual and non-manual built environment workers.
One of the first steps to addressing stress-related mental illness is increasing awareness, which is exactly what World Mental Health Day is all about. By talking about mental well-being in the workplace the taboo around mental health can be broken down, resulting in a healthier, happier work environment.
Check out the Links Page on the World Federation for Mental Health for useful sources of information for both personal and organisation level use.