EMPLOYERS HUB: Facts About Mental Health

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  • According to the Office of National Statistics, over 1,400 construction workers took their lives between 2011 and 2015. This represented up to 13.2 % of the total number of in-work suicides.
  • Alarmingly, Building Mental  Health (BMH) state that ‘Every single working day, 2 construction workers take their own life in the UK’. 
  • Clearly, the numbers are staggering, and the question begs: why is construction such a high-risk sector
  • Historically, the industry is known for incredibly tight deadlines and long working hours, two obvious and contributing factors to increased stress in a working environment.


  • Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.
  • 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.
  • Common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are distributed according to a gradient of economic disadvantage across society. The poorer and more disadvantaged are disproportionately affected by common mental health problems and their adverse consequences.
  • Mixed anxiety and depression has been estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain.
  • One adult in six had a common mental disorder.

UK & WORLDWIDE: Mental health problems are a growing public health concern. They are prevalent not just in the UK, but around the world.

  • Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.
  • Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.
  • Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem

MEN & WOMEN: Mental health problems affect both men and women, but not in equal measure.

  • In England, in 2014, one in six adults had a common mental health problem: about one in five women and one in eight men.
  • From 2000 to 2014, rates of common mental health problems in England steadily increased in women and remained largely stable in men.
  • Overall, men accounted for three-quarters of UK deaths by suicide in 2018

SUICIDE: Suicide and self-harm are not mental health problems themselves, but they are linked with mental distress.

  • In the UK in 2018, there were 6,507 deaths by suicide (a rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people).
  • Rates vary across the UK, with the highest rate in 2018 observed in Northern Ireland (18.6 deaths per 100,000), followed by Scotland (16.1 deaths per 100,000 people), then Wales (12.8 deaths per 100,000 people) and England (10.3 deaths per 100,000 people).
  • In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, and in 2019, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales. Of these, three-quarters were among men, which has been the case since the mid-1990s
Visit the Crisis – Suicide and Self-Harm page on the Hub for more information.