It’s Quality Plumber Week 2019 (7th October – 11th October 2019) and this year, organisers the APHC have decided to raise awareness of mental health issues in the building services and construction industries.

Is poor mental health an issue for tradespeople?

Yes, mental health issues affect a significant number of workers in the building services and construction industry, which has some of the highest suicide rates of any profession.  One in six UK workers struggle with mental health problems, which equates to around 350,000 construction workers.

According to ONS figures, males working in skilled trade occupations have the second-highest risk of suicide among the major occupational groups.

In 2016, 454 construction industry workers took their own lives, leading to the CITB to describe poor mental health in the construction industry as ‘the silent epidemic’.

Work-related stress, depression and anxiety are the most reported workplace health issues in the construction sector.

What is happening over Quality Plumber Week 2019?

  • The week is officially supported by The Samaritans and their ‘Real People, Real Stories’ campaign. They will be sharing real life experiences of men who have overcome tough times.
  • The APHC has interviewed Lee Woodgate, 33-year-old self-employed heating engineer and one of the founders of MENtalk, a Facebook Group and podcast series designed to help tradesmen with their mental wellbeing. The interview covers Lee’s experiences with his mental health after becoming self-employed and the strategies he uses to deal with mental health issues.  You can read the interview here.
  • Plumber and friend of Ideal Standard, Lauren Winter, has shared her own mental health experience and advice in a blog post for APHC. You can read the blog here and follow Lauren on Twitter @Loz_Winter
  • 10th October – World Mental Health Day – the APHC will be hosting a Twitter conversation to encourage plumbers to ask questions and gain live advice – join the conversation using #QPW19

How can I get involved?

  • Follow APHC on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, where they will be raising awareness throughout the week. There will be lots of helpful and practical advice, directing plumbers to places where they can obtain information and advice.
  • Join the conversation using #QPW19
  • Download the Quality Plumber Week logo here and use it on your social media accounts.
  • Run your own initiative or campaign.
  • Share your thoughts about living and dealing with mental health problems with the APHC: [email protected].

APHC comment

John Thompson (CEO) said: “The plumbing and heating industry is predominately made up of sole traders for whom the challenges around mental wellbeing can be more significant as they face a wealth of pressure throughout the working day, which for many, continues into the evening as this is the only time they have to deal with the administration aspect of running a company. Dealing with these work pressures inevitably means their work-life balance isn’t always in check which then becomes an additional pressure.”

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