Band of Builders (BoB) has teamed up with NHS England to spread the word about NHS Talking Therapies –within the construction industry.

Talking therapies (or psychological therapies) are effective and confidential treatments delivered by fully trained and accredited NHS practitioners. They can help if you’re struggling with things like feelings of depression, excessive worry, social anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The service is free and confidential – and anyone can access Talking Therapies for free on the NHS. Anyone who wants to use the service can refer themselves directly without a referral from a GP.

NHS England’s partnership with BoB will help to raise awareness in UK construction – as it’s an industry where the suicide rate of tradespeople is nearly four times that of other professions.*

Speaking about the partnership, our CEO, Gavin Crane, said he is very proud that NHS England was keen to partner with BoB.

“Whilst we are best known as a registered charity that completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury, since COVID, we have worked tirelessly to drive the conversation around the mental health crisis in the construction industry,” he said.

“Our Big Brew campaign – which encourages UK construction industry workers and tradespeople to come together over a cuppa to support one another and remove the taboo around mental health – is getting bigger each year,” he said. “And this has funded our own helpline (text BOB to 85258).

“The Big Brew is a great platform to bring NHS’s Talking Therapies service into the conversation about mental health support. This is especially relevant as these events are predominately held at merchants‘ branches - so tradespeople can be signposted to ways they can access help. Our alliance with construction recruitment specialist Hays also means we are getting this message to a wider audience through visits to construction sites up and down the UK.

“The partnership with NHS England takes us into new ground, and it’s a privilege to be considered as a charity that can help spread the word about talking therapies. After all, you don’t need to wait for a mental health diagnosis to benefit from the service – you can refer yourself directly. Getting support early can make a big difference.”

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* Figures from the team at Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Built Environment Asset Management (BEAM) Centre – in conjunction with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity – found that the suicide rate for construction occupations in 2021 rose to 33.82 per 100,000. This trend had continued for the fifth year in a row, rising steadily from 25.52 per 100,000 in 2015 when the figures were first compiled. What is even more alarming is when this rate is compared to that in other professions, where the suicide rate is 9.14 per 100,000.