Four in Five Tradespeople Experience Work-Related Mental Health Issues, Survey Finds

FOUR IN FIVE UK tradespeople say they’ve experienced some form of mental health problem due to work-related issues.

This is according to new research commissioned for Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May) by IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect.

The survey found that financial worries remain among the leading causes of stress across all trades. Almost two in five tradespeople (39%) said the wider cost of living crisis is the number one concern affecting their mental health.

The rising cost of materials was also found to be amongst the main stressors (36%), and tradespeople ranked the issue as the biggest challenge facing the industry in 2023.

The top 10 most common causes of stress for tradespeople are:

1. Cost of living crisis

2. Rising cost of materials

3. Finances

4. Tensions with customers

5. Doing the best job for customers

6. Job security

7. Tensions with suppliers

8. Risk of catching Covid-19

9. Making mistakes at work

10. Too much work

The survey also revealed more than four in five (84%) tradespeople don’t feel comfortable talking to others about their feelings. Just one in six (17%) have spoken to friends or family about their mental health.

Furthermore, one in ten (10%) worry what their colleagues would think if they told them what they were going through, and more than a quarter (27%) feel they can’t take time off work for mental health reasons.

Builders are the most likely tradespeople to feel stressed or anxious on a daily basis (16%), but overall, mental health problems are most common amongst surveyors. Almost all of those surveyed (98%) say they experience issues at least once a year.

Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect, said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult few years for the country, and the current cost of living crisis is certainly taking its toll on many people. Our research shows that the trade industry and its brilliant people have been hit hard, and mental health problems are common.

“As difficult as it might seem at first, it’s incredibly important that you talk to someone about your feelings, whether that’s your partner, a friend or family member, a colleague, or a professional. This can open the door to getting help and starting to address the problems you’re facing.”

Mental Health Awareness Campaign

In order to raise awareness of mental health amongst tradespeople, IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect are partnering with Basildon Mind, the mental health charity, and are donating over £3,000 to support its services.

Emma Mamo, Head of Workspace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “In male-dominated industries such as construction, employees are often less willing and able to open up about their mental health and ask for support. This can be problematic because mental health problems often become worse if left untreated, and the consequences can be fatal.

“We urge employers to create cultures where employees can speak openly and honestly about their mental health.”


>> Read more about mental health in the news

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