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Text service launched to help tradespeople open up about mental health

(David Davies/PA)
(David Davies/PA)

A new initiative has been launched as part of a campaign to help tradespeople open up about their mental health.

A new text service, launched by national charity Band of Builders, coincides with the return of the Big Brew – an industry-wide campaign aimed at shining a spotlight mental health issues.

The charity said there was a crisis in construction, with two workers thought to take their own lives every day.

Launched last year and returning in October, the Big Brew aims to encourage more tradespeople and contractors to come together over a cuppa as the first step in seeking help with a range of issues from general anxiety – due to factors such as the cost-of-living crisis – to suicidal thoughts.

More than 300 Big Brew events are expected to take place in builders’ merchants and on construction sites across the UK, encouraging more people to seek help where needed.

Peter Cape of the Band of Builders said: “The first ever Big Brew highlighted just how much the construction industry was crying out for something that gave tradespeople and contractors the outlet to get together over a cuppa and discuss the wider issue of mental health and wellbeing – and open up individually to workmates or even staff at their local builders’ merchants.

“The campaign is proving to be a vital lifeline at a time when suicide rates in the sector were already at one per day before the Covid pandemic – according to ONS figures – and it’s widely accepted that these have worsened to closer to two per day.

“The challenge has been to make it as easy as possible for tradespeople and contractors to take that all-important first step and reach out for help.”

Under the new service, workers can text BOB to 85258 to get help.