October the 10th is World Mental Health Day, established by the World Health Organisation. At RIFT, we understand the need for mental health awareness, since so many of our customers work in the UK’s most stressful and mentally demanding professions. That’s why we take every opportunity to promote and support mental health awareness days and projects across the country.

Mental health awareness days matter

With the UK still staggering back to its feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health issues are only becoming more pressing in traditionally high-stress careers like construction and the Armed Forces.

Every year, around 400,000 UK working days are lost due to poor mental health, and the toll on people’s lives is both staggering and heartbreaking. Construction workers die by their own hands at a horrifying 3 times the national average rate, but people still aren’t getting the help they need soon enough or reliably enough.

With men’s mental health awareness in particular, many of the problems come down to how hard it is to get the conversation started in the first place. The Armed Forces and the trades, despite the work being done to change their cultures, are still places where people have a hard time admitting when they’re suffering. Trying to “tough out” a mental health crisis just isn’t safe enough - and in physically and emotionally taxing jobs, it may not be just your own wellbeing or safety at risk.

Signs of poor mental health

Men’s mental health awareness means more than just having the courage to reach out when you’re starting to struggle. Some of the most important steps you can take are about looking out for the people around you. Learning how to spot when someone close to you is suffering is absolutely crucial to helping them. Here are just a few of the warning signs for anxiety or depression flagged up by mental health charity, Mind:

  • Restlessness, agitation or irritability.
  • Isolation and an inability to relate to others.
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering.
  • Drinking or smoking more.

Where to get help

The hardest part about getting help with mental health problems is speaking up for yourself and speaking out for others. Once you’re over that hurdle, though, it’s essential to understand that there’s real, practical and genuinely effective help out there.

  • Veteran’s mental health organisation Combat Stress has a range of schemes to help serving and former Armed Forces personnel. Their free, 24-hour helpline is always available, along with a wide variety of residential treatment programmes, therapies and other support.
  • The Lighthouse Club, a charity for the UK construction industry, has a helpline of its own. The organisation is a 24/7 safety net for people in the building trade and their families, offering mental health support, emergency financial aid and other real-world help. Their mobile app is free on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Visit the official World Mental Health Day page for more information on the campaign, and to find out what you can to get involved.