Surge in Suicidal Texts to Construction Worker Helpline


A new helpline service is highlighting growing desperation among industry professionals.

The newly established mental health helpline for UK construction workers has revealed alarming figures, showing over a third of texts (30.4%) are from individuals contemplating suicide. 

This striking statistic brings to light the severe mental health crisis overshadowing the industry as the suicide rate among construction workers ascends for the fifth consecutive year.

Launched a year ago, the Big Brew’s helpline has become a crucial support mechanism for the struggling construction community, with the award-winning charity Band of Builders steering the helm. 

The helpline is a significant part of the Big Brew campaign, designed to prompt discussions around mental health within the construction industry, providing a platform for workers to voice their anxieties and fears.

As data unfolds, it’s evident that the issue is grave. Texts concerning suicidal thoughts outnumber those related to depression (16.2%), stress and anxiety (15.4%), relationship issues (14.2%), and isolation (14%), highlighting the urgency of addressing the escalating mental health crisis in the sector.

Interestingly, 44.2% of those reaching out do so amidst their working hours, with Fridays marking the peak of weekly helpline activities at 22.4%. A considerable 80.6% of the total helpline usage occurs within the working week, further underscoring the pervasive stress and anxiety engulfing workers during their job roles.

With the global observance of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, Big Brew campaign organisers are gearing up for enhanced awareness initiatives while reflecting on the crucial data emerging from the helpline service. This data accentuates the widespread mental health crisis the construction sector is grappling with.

“The industry’s inherently demanding and high-pressure environment lays the foundation for elevated stress, anxiety, and various mental health afflictions among workers,” comments Gavin Crane, Big Brew spokesperson. Crane emphasises the moral obligation to acknowledge and tackle these challenges, advocating for a healthier and more supportive industry culture. 

Big Brew plays a pivotal role in fostering safe spaces for open dialogues, stigma reduction, and promoting mental wellbeing.

As the third annual Big Brew event beckons, sponsorship from notable firms like Tarmac and CT1 Sealant and Construction Adhesive promises a substantial platform for discussion. Over 300 Big Brew coffee mornings are stated to take place across the UK, with widespread support from the builder’s merchant sector.

Over 300 Big Brew coffee mornings are stated to take place across the UK

Band of Builders launched the inaugural Big Brew event in October 2021, making significant strides in not just awareness but also fundraising. The funds amassed were pivotal in establishing online wellbeing services accessible to UK construction industry members and their families.

The Big Brew campaign has been gaining traction, drawing national attention with televised features and celebrity endorsements. With the crisis deepening, as evidenced by the helpline data, organisers urge for increased participation in the Big Brew initiative. It’s seen as a vital avenue for fostering community engagement and elevating awareness about mental health issues and available support structures for the UK construction industry workforce.

Interested parties can register for hosting a Big Brew event at Band of Builders’ website and partake in the ongoing conversation on social media using the hashtag #GiveYourselfABreak.