Council mandates mental health statement in construction tenders

mental health construction

A local authority has announced a new requirement for its contractors to include mental health statements in their construction bids.

The Halton Borough Council executive board has agreed that all future construction tender processes will require the main contractor to include a scored statement on the mental wellbeing of all staff and subcontractors.

The council is believed to be the first in the country to take this approach. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, 507 construction workers died by suicide in 2021 – the equivalent of almost 10 people each week.

“The suicide rates of young men working in construction are shockingly high and it’s time to do more," commented council leader Mike Wharton. 

“Asking contractors to consider the mental wellbeing of their staff, and making this a prerequisite of being awarded contracts, will help make inroads into the challenge of reducing the numbers of suicides and people experiencing mental health issues at work. 

“We are the first council in the country to take this approach and I hope many more will follow.”

mental health construction
L-r: Council leader Mike Wharton, former Everton and England footballer Trevor Steven, and council chief executive Stephen Young (image: Causeway Technologies)

Mental health support

To find out more about the issues, Wharton and Halton Borough Council’s chief executive Stephen Young met with ex-Everton and England international footballer, Trevor Steven, who is a mental health ambassador for Causeway Technologies

Causeway is leading a campaign aimed at improving the provision of mental health support in construction.

As part of the initiative, a survey has been conducted involving more than 1,400 workers at construction sites across the country. 

Using the subject of football to encourage workers to discuss their mental health, the survey found 56% of respondents had experienced mental health problems and 12% had experienced suicidal thoughts.

Last year, Steven spoke to CIOB People about the campaign and the importance of ensuring mental health is prioritised in construction.  

Mental health support and advice for CIOB members, past members and related family is available through CIOB Assist. CIOB, in partnership with Anxiety UK, also provides wellbeing support.

For additional support or advice, contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123. Alternatively, you can also access support via the industry charity Lighthouse Club. You can call the support line on 0345 605 1956 or text HARDHAT to 85258.

This article first appeared on CIOB People.

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