Mental health issues in the construction industry are a major concern, with over 400,000 days of construction work lost each year due to mental health. According to data from the Office of National Statistics, one construction worker takes their own life every single day in the UK. Scaffolders, in particular, have a massive 44 percent higher risk of suicide than in any other trade.

With this in mind, Fulcrum is proud to announce that we are the first company in the country to sponsor scaffolders to attend a mental health course. We are currently sponsoring ten fully trained scaffolders to attend a course with Teaching and Learning Kindness Ltd, with a view to sponsoring ten more apprentices in the near future.

Scaffolding Industry Challenging & Stressful

Fears about job security (particularly during the pandemic), combined with long hours and working away from home for weeks at a time are just some of the reasons that scaffolding is a challenging and stressful industry to work in.

The stereotype of men who work in the construction industry is a large part of the problem. Many construction workers feel that they need to maintain the image of being a ‘tough guy’, and tend to suffer in silence rather than opening up about their problems.

TALK Mental Health First Aid

At the beginning of the pandemic, Sacub Qureshi founded Teaching And Learning Kindness Ltd. Known as TALK, the company aims to raise awareness of mental health issues within the construction industry in general, and especially in scaffolding.

Sacub is a scaffolder by trade and has experienced first-hand the devastating effects of mental health. His scaffolding mentor and close friend sadly took his own life, and this was followed by the suicide of another close friend, who was also a scaffolder.

Hearing many other similar stories from friends and colleagues throughout the industry, Sacub made the career change from scaffolding instructor to mental health first aid trainer.

Supporting Mental Wellbeing in Scaffolding

Mental health first aid is important at all levels in the construction industry, from trainees right through to company directors. If we are to create a truly responsible industry, we need to get as many companies as possible to take the mental wellbeing of their employees seriously.

If you’re interested in understanding more about mental health in construction, visit the TALK website.