Majority report work-related mental health problems

A new study found that 82% UK tradespeople experience mental health problems due to work-related issues.

The research was commissioned by IronmongeryDirect for Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from 13 to 19 May, and the results have been published in the fourth edition of its annual industry report.

It found that 56% of tradespeople experience some form of mental health problem, such as stress, anxiety or depression, every month and 27% feel symptoms every single week. However, both statistics are lower than this time last year.

The study found that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is the leading cause of stress, with 34% saying it’s affecting their mental health, but this has also dropped from 39% compared to the 2023 report.

The rising cost of materials remains the second main stressor, with 32%, but new entries on the list include the poor work-life balance, with 24%, the physical demand of jobs, 12%, and a lack of recognition, 10%.

A total of 88% of tradespeople don’t feel comfortable talking to others about their feelings. The research revealed that 10% of respondents have spoken to friends or family about their mental health over the last year, which is down from previous studies, at 17%.

Furthermore, 7% of workers worry what their colleagues would think if they told them what they were going through, and 26% feel they can’t take time off work for mental health reasons, it was found.

Ellis Osborn, ecommerce manager at IronmongeryDirect, added: “This is now the fourth year we’ve conducted this research, and it’s clear that mental health problems continue to be a real issue across the industry. 

“However, it’s encouraging to see some of the statistics dropping compared to previous studies. Hopefully the stigma around mental health is starting to reduce, and tradespeople feel slightly more willing to speak up when they have difficulties.

“There is certainly a long way to go though, and we urge everyone to reach out and talk to someone if they are feeling stressed or anxious. Opening up can feel daunting at first, but it can be the first step towards improving your mental health situation.” 

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