Mental health charity Mates in Mind is offering support to construction workers in Northern Ireland in a bid to improve mental health in the industry.

Mates in Mind will be running workshops and providing materials to 400 people within the sector. These will be aimed at reducing the stigma of poor mental health and improving workers’ mental wellbeing.

This is in response to figures from the Office of National Statistics stating that over a third of construction workers have experienced a mental health condition in the past year, and almost a quarter have considered leaving the industry due to mental health-related problems.

The industry also has the highest rate of suicide than any other – with Northern Ireland being particularly at risk as the country has a higher rate of suicide than the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The Construction Industry Training Board (Northern Ireland) is helping to fund the initiative. It is offering 20 half-day training sessions, a two-day mental health first aid training course, and two sessions tailored for board members. When delegates complete the sessions, they will have access to 24/7 telephone counselling support.

Those interested can sign up for the course here.

Joscelyne Shaw, Executive Director of Mates in Mind, said: “Today marks an important step for the Northern Ireland construction sector as it looks to tackle the stigma associated with poor mental health. This is achieved by creating a culture built on an understanding of what good mental health looks like.

“As a result of the generous funding provided by CITB (NI) and the efforts of our collaborators, we can now start the process of opening up the subject of mental health with conversations that can make a crucial difference to so many people’s lives.”