Shining a light on Mental Health

FMB NI Director Gavin McGuire looks at how the organisation is supporting better mental health in the industry...

“Every working day we lose two construction workers to suicide in the UK and Ireland.”
Gavin McGuire, FMB NI Director.

There is no doubt the last year has been an added strain on the emotional and physical wellbeing of us all. It is important in normal times to make sure we are all looking after our mental health, as well as our physical health. It is arguably even more important when life gets turned on its head. When we reflect on the industry we work within, sadly every working day we lose two construction workers to suicide in the UK and Ireland. It is harrowing to think about and we are all morally responsible to take action to help improve this horrendous statistic.

As a membership organisation, we are mindful of the needs of individuals and companies.  At the FMB, we have aimed to provide as much help and guidance as we can to our members and to ensure they know that support and resources are available. 

With that collaborative approach in mind, we announced our support for The Lighthouse Club, the Construction Industry Charity, which was chosen by FMB National President Jan Etchells as our national charity partner.

The charity provides free emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. Support services include a 24/7 confidential Construction Industry Helpline, a self-help app, and proactive wellbeing training to help build emotional resilience to combat stress, anxiety and depression. 

“While the support provided by The Lighthouse Club for members of the construction industry is crucially important at the best of times, the events of the last 12 months or so have made the charity’s mission even more significant,” said Jan Etchells. 

“During this time of substantial uncertainty and stress for builders, resources such as The Lighthouse Club’s 24/7 confidential Construction Industry Helpline serve as a valuable source of support, and I encourage everyone in the construction sector to make use of these services if they feel they need to do so.”

Bill Hill, CEO of The Lighthouse Club said: “The charity’s mission is to ensure that ‘no construction worker or their family are alone in a crisis’. Since 1956, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity has been totally dedicated to the welfare and wellbeing of all construction workers in the UK and Ireland. In that time over 20,000 construction families have been supported.”

“In 2020, we supported an unprecedented 2,399 construction workers and their families in crisis. While the services we offer are free, the charity receives no public funding and relies on the generosity of those within the construction sector to fund our services.”

FMB NI’s Board realises that it will take everyone working together to help drive the culture change that’s needed in the industry. We are keen that all sectors of the industry help to raise awareness of the work of The Lighthouse Club and how they can assist those within the construction sector. 

The Lighthouse Club will deliver a free, virtual presentation to the NI construction industry at 12.30pm on 22 April. 

Please email FMB NI Director Gavin McGuire for details of this event:  [email protected]


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