New Mental Health App for Construction Workers
Q & A with Bill Hill, the CEO of UK construction charity, Lighthouse Club on the launch of their new mental health app developed in collaboration with COINS.
Why did the Lighthouse Club think that a mental health app was needed? What’s the problem?
Statistics show that two construction workers are taking their own life every single working day, and that stress, anxiety and depression accounts for a fifth of all work related illness. This needs to stop.
What is being done currently?
The UK construction industry is rising to the challenge of creating a healthier workplace for everyone, but there is a lot of information and finding the right support isn’t always easy. As a charity we are helping to drive significant change through a variety of mental health and wellbeing support programmes and already provide the industry with a 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline that any construction worker or their family can access.
But we have a long way to go before the culture in construction removes the stigma about talking about mental health and wellbeing. For some, talking comes easy, but for others, just taking that first step in acknowledging that they need some kind of help can be the most difficult step. We need to make it as easy for someone to talk about mental health as it is to talk about a physical condition. That’s why we have developed the Construction Industry Helpline app that can be downloaded free by anyone in the industry. It will provide access to information, advice and guidance about what they can do to relieve the long term effects of stress, anxiety or depression and access other areas of support such as anger management, drug and alcohol dependency, debt management, legal advice, and emergency financial aid. Sometimes all these areas are inextricably linked to the overall wellbeing of an individual.
Over 50% of the construction workforce are self employed and do not have access to any form of EAP (employee assistance programme) and therefore have nothing in place to support them at their time of need.
What is the Construction Industry Helpline App?
This free app will give information, advice and guidance on many wellbeing topics including stress, anxiety, depression, anger and suicidal thoughts. It is 100% confidential and will not require any personal contact information to be collected.
Who is the app designed for?
We recognise that not everyone feels comfortable talking about their feelings or personal situation, so this app is aimed at construction workers who would like to find out more information about how they can perhaps help themselves or if necessary, take the next step in seeking professional help. It is a preventative tool and aims to provide support at the initial stages of a situation so that the problem does not reach a life critical stage.
How will it help?
People will initially be guided through a series of questions to help gain a basic understanding of what their issues are. Depending on the answers provided the app will:
- Offer learning/information from reliable expert sources
- Provide a self-assessment tool
- Describe self-help tools and offer easy-to-use coping strategies
- Guide the user to the extent that they may feel comfortable talking about it
- Deliver a refined list of contacts for accessing ongoing support
How can people access the app?
The Construction Industry Helpline app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.
The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is the only charity that provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families who have suffered an injury, long term illness or just need some extra support. COINS have been delighted to collaborate with them in building this important app to help support construction workers and their families.