Mental health is an area that has significant stigma associated with it. One in four people suffer with mental health issues in any given year and the suicide rate in the construction industry greatly exceeds that in wider society. The film illustrates how people you see every day can be suffering in silence, how it’s important to be aware and understand mental health issues and how showing that you care about the health of your colleagues by listening and offering support can make a real difference.
The short film is shown below and is accompanied by discussion notes that will help the viewer understand the risk.
In this film we see that Gary is going through a difficult time and is showing signs that he is struggling to cope. He is starting to have suicidal thoughts but is keeping his issues bottled up inside.
What would good have looked like?
Gary could have recognised his need to talk about his thoughts and feelings earlier and perhaps his colleagues might have spotted he was struggling sooner and offered help and understanding before things got this bad. The best way to help someone with mental health problems is to ensure they are getting the advice and support they need and they can only do this if they feel that there is a supportive work environment.
Do you look out for those working around you?
Do you watch to see if their behaviour has changed?
What would you do if you were worried about one of your friends or colleagues?
Possible Discussion questions
Q.Why is the suicide rate high in construction?
A.There are many factors that can lead to poor mental health and increased risk of suicide. Suicide rates are typically higher in men than women and the construction industry is still predominantly male. Many construction workers also work away from home which can lead to a lack of support and feelings of isolation. There are other factors as well but the important point to note is that we are all able to look out for each other and help make a difference.
Q.What’s someone’s personal life got to do with me?
A.What’s important is that you are able to offer support and understanding and help ensure individuals know you care. The details of their personal life, whilst they may be relevant are often not needed to make a difference.
Q.Where would you go for advice and support? Mind – National mental health charity,
www.mind.org.uk, Tel: 0300 123 3393, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NHS Choices
www.nhs.uk/pages/home.aspx Cruse – Bereavement Care – Leading national charity for bereaved people.
www.cruse.org.uk, Tel: 0808 808 1677 Samaritans – Confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day.
www.samaritans.org, Tel: 08457 90 90 90