Life can have its ups and downs

Mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression can affect all of us at some point in our lives – but it is how we manage it that controls what impact it has on us. Stress can be caused by many factors including issues at work, at home, in relationships or financial difficulties.

Unfortunately, in the electrical sector mental health issues still remain a taboo subject, making it hard for those experiencing problems to open up and feel understood. That is why it is vital that people feel comfortable discussing their mental health and know where they can go for support if needed. This is where the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) can help.

Mental Health problems can affect anyone at any time

Working in the construction industry, where demanding workloads, long hours and short-term projects are the norm, it’s not surprising that this is a high risk area for workplace stress. Worryingly the numbers show that:

  • 95% of people in the industry lie about how they are feeling, and because of the stigma associated with mental health won’t tell anyone that they are struggling
  • More than half of people working in the industry have at some time reported experiencing mental health issues
  • People are suffering in silence often making the situation far worse

Unfortunately, when these issues aren’t handled effectively situations can sadly turn, in some cases ending with tragic consequences.

Suicide rates for construction workers are three times higher than average

It is possible a colleague could be suffering with a mental health issue in silence, and might need your support. The shocking facts are:

  • In the UK every four minutes someone tries to kill themselves and every hour someone will succeed!
  • The risk of suicide for those working in the building and construction industry is 1.6 times higher than the national average.
  • Last year 6,122 deaths in the UK were attributed to suicide, of which 76% were men.

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) are there to help

The stigma around mental health can be a silent killer, therefore it is so important that early intervention is key to preventing mental health problems spiralling out of control.

Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity, urges the industry not to turn a blind eye to mental health problems that are affecting thousands of people in the electrical sector.

The EIC offer help to anyone associated with the electrical industry such as employees, employers and their families, through a range of free confidential support services.

The wellbeing of workers in the electrical sector is extremely important to the EIC. Their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), funded by the powerLottery is there to help those in the industry access free support services during their most challenging of times. Some of the services they offer include:

  • confidential and emotional support
  • telephone counselling
  • careers advice and assistance

Managing Director, Tessa Ogle says: “Powerlottery is one of the best ways to help the Charity to transform the lives of our colleagues who are in need. For as little as £1 you will be able to make a huge difference in someone’s life while having a chance to win one of 40 cash prizes.”

To date over 21,000 people have signed up to the Charity’s powerLottery to show their support allowing the Charity to continue providing life-changing services to thousands of industry colleagues and their families.

Anant Savani’s story

Every £ spent can help people like Anant to get access to crucial support services in a time of need and help to turn their lives around.

Anant felt that he couldn’t share his feelings of anxiety and depression with his colleagues or his friends and family, and as a result, he became severely depressed and ultimately suicidal. Fortunately he was referred to the EIC by a former colleague, and he is now receiving counselling and ongoing support from the Charity, which will help him to get back on his feet and look forward to a brighter future.

Don’t suffer in silence!

If you or someone you know is suffering with stress, anxiety or mental health problems you may feel overwhelmed and that you have no control over what’s happening. If you need of assistance please don’t hesitate, call the Access Assistance line on 0800 652 1618.

If you would like to find out more about the charity please click here.