Help-seeking intentions of UK construction workers: a cross-sectional study

M Duncan*, D Bansal, E Cooke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In response to the high rates of poor mental health in the construction industry, numerous workplace interventions have been designed to address the known and suspected risk factors to employee mental health and well-being. A key challenge of these strategies is low engagement in support services.

AIMS: The goals of this research were to investigate the help-seeking intentions of employees in the construction industry, explore levels of mental well-being in this population and provide insight into employee engagement with mental health support strategies.

METHODS: Employees from two UK construction companies completed an online cross-sectional questionnaire (n = 119), designed to measure help-seeking intentions, levels of mental well-being and worker attitudes towards workplace mental health support strategies.

RESULTS: One-third of the sample reported experiencing an episode of mental health difficulties in the past 6 months. Employees reported a greater preference for seeking support from informal versus formal help sources. Participants were most likely to seek help from a partner and least likely to seek help from a Mental Health First Aider/ Champion. The study also showed some association between help-seeking intention and age of employees.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the poor levels of mental well-being in this population, it is essential that adequate workplace support is provided. Whilst formal help sources are important for this population, our study highlights the potential benefits of informal help sources to support employees. Future interventions may therefore wish to consider developing tailored, informal workplace support networks and programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberkqae007
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalOccupational medicine (Oxford, England)
Volume74
Issue number2
Early online date6 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

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