Two construction workers take their own life every single working day. And a third of all work-related absence is due to anxiety and poor mental health. That’s why, during Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to want to ensure that people don’t reach a crisis point. That is why James' Place has partnered with Electrical Industries Charity to ensure we reach one of the most vulnerable workforces around. Together we are sending out a message of hope that support is available at James’ Place for men in suicidal crisis in Liverpool and London.
Cultural and workplace factors are often cited as reasons why suicide rates are so high. Men working in the construction sector often work away for long periods and experience loneliness and isolation from family and friends. This is often exacerbated by the fact that many men in the industry are either self-employed or carry out much of their work alone. There is a great deal of job insecurity leading to financial concerns, and a culture of drinking, drugs and online gambling which can contribute to poor mental health.
What help is available?
James’ Place offers free, life-saving treatment to suicidal men in centres in Liverpool and London, with three more centres due to open across England by 2026. They have treated over 1,500 suicidal men since 2018, delivering over 7,500 therapy sessions. We see a wide variety of men from many different professions who are in crisis driven by everyday life events.
The centres offer a safe and friendly environment in which men can speak face-to-face with trained, experienced professional therapists. Their therapists get quickly to the heart of a man’s suicidal crisis and help him solve it and research shows that men who come to them experience a clinically and statistically significant positive change following treatment and reduced levels of psychological distress.
Marwan*was helped by James’ Place last year and said: “I arrived at James' Place after being referred following months of experiencing suicidal thoughts and actively looking at ways of taking my own life in as painless a way possible. I was given an initial assessment where I felt I could be completely frank about the factors I thought led to this point, however trivial I had previously been told by others these were.”
“I was treated with respect, kindness and understanding throughout my 10-week course of talk therapy and allowed to reach my comfort zone of being able to talk about why I wanted to end my life following my therapist creating an environment of trust and candour. This in turn unveiled to me other reasons I had never really considered, ranging from my childhood experiences to other sources of trauma that I just didn't realise were there, as well as helping me understand where my addictive tendencies towards work and substances came from.”
“Since leaving the course my quality of life has greatly improved; it is as if I have learned how to be happy. It has helped me to escape the constant guilt by teaching me that I'm allowed to be human, alongside recognising and removing myself from the environments that are bad for me.”
Men can self-refer or be referred to James' Place by a professional including those working in health and community services, or by a friend or family member. Visit www.jamesplace.org.uk for more information.
*Name changed to protect identity