Giant Mural Promotes Higher Visibility for Mental Health in the Trade Industry

A GIANT MURAL made up of 687 hi-vis vests is currently on display on a construction site in London’s West End as part of a campaign aiming to give mental health higher visibility in the trade industry.

The artwork, created by IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect for Mental Health Awareness Week, represents the annual number of trade suicides in the UK.

An average of 687 skilled trade workers died by suicide each year between 2019-2021, according to the latest government data. This equates to 13 a week, or almost two a day, on average.

To symbolise each of these individuals, 687 hi-vis vests have been stitched together into one 12-metre-tall garment by fabric manufacturer J&C Joel.

The display was unveiled alongside the publication of the annual Mental Health in the Trades report, which found that more than four in five (84%) UK tradespeople experience mental health problems due to work-related issues.

Mental Health Visibility 

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.”

Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect, added: “We hope that this artwork serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating impact of mental health issues within the trades industry.

“By bringing this issue to the forefront of people’s minds, we hope to encourage more open conversations around mental health and continue our efforts to support those who may be struggling.”

The mural will on display throughout Mental Health Awareness Week (15 – 21 May) at the Galliford Try construction site on Goslett Yard, just off Charing Cross London, in the heart of the West End.


>> Read more about mental health awareness in the news

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