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Mental Health

Mental health continues to be a vitally important issue across UK construction and maintenance.

This dedicated Mental Health webpage is the focal point for ECA activity and information, including signposts to further support.  It will include ECA representational and survey activity relating to mental health, along with practical information and advice from ECA and other industry sources.

This page includes information on:

  • The Electrical Industries Charity
  • Other Selected Information and Support
  • ECA Practical Information/Advice
  • Other Leading Practical Information/Advice
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Example Media Outputs

Mental health at work refers to anybody’s psychological, emotional, and social well-being in the work environment. To engage effectively with workplace mental health, it’s vital not to see ‘mental health’ all as one issue, but instead to identify the specific mental health issue(s) involved: these may include depression, anxiety or stress (any of which can range from suicidal thoughts or behaviour to longer term conditions) and the factors that can lead to them, and other diagnosed mental health conditions.

Regarding mental health in the workplace, some key factors to consider include:

  • Poor mental health is responsible for around 72 million working days lost annually and it costs UK employers some £45 billion each year
  • Potentially, anyone in the workplace can experience mental health problems.
  • Stress is not pressure – pressure can sometimes be good for work performance, but stress - an individual’s negative reaction to what they experience as unmanageable pressure - is never good for the individual, or for performance
  • Poor industry payment practices (under and/or delayed payment) can put owners and others in a business under extreme stress
  • Without effective support, mental health challenges can affect a person's workplace attendance and capacity to work productively
  • If an employee has a mental health issue that is also classed as a disability, then the employer should make reasonable adjustments to accommodate that employee’s workplace needs.

The World Health Organisation describes mental health as:

"A state of wellbeing in which an individual can: realise their own potential; cope with the normal stresses of life; work productively and fruitfully; and is able to contribute to their community".

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC)

The EIC is the electrotechnical industry’s principal charity, and it is actively supported by ECA and others across the industry. It aims to help those in the electrotechnical industry, including their families, who need practical support. This includes mental health support such as:

Non-means tested:

  • Therapy and mental health support (tiered funding approach)
  • Bereavement support (including those affected by suicide)
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Support with return to work plans after a serious mental health absence

Means tested:

  • Counselling and mental health support including ADHD and ASD assessment
  • Financial assistance and grants – immediate urgent need and serious disability

Visit the EIC website >

Other Selected Information and Support

MIND offers information and support for those experiencing mental health problems. It has numerous resources to help people understand their mental health and the choices available to them. Find an information line and other resources >

Mates in Mind is a construction-specific body that seeks to empower UK organisations to tackle any silence and prejudice surrounding mental ill-heath and embed positive culture change within these workplaces. Find out more >

Lighthouse Club is a construction industry charity providing emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families. Services include a free, confidential 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline and Helpline App, and mental health training. Learn more >

EC Insurance Services (ECIS)

ECIS, a wholly owned subsidiary of ECA, is a chartered insurance broker with a wealth of experience in the health and wellbeing market. 

There are a range of products and services available to support your business with the mental wellbeing of your employees. Contact ECIS to discuss any of the following: 

  • Employee Assistance Programme:
    • Confidential telephone counselling support 
    • Assists with mental wellbeing including stress, anxiety and depression
    • Service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Out-patient services such as face-to-face counselling
  • Up to 45 days in-patient support & direct access to mental health support included with the ECA Private Medical Scheme

Mental Health First Aid

‘Mental Health First Aiders’ provide initial support to anyone in the workplace who is experiencing poor mental health, in a similar way to more traditional ‘first aiders’. Mental health first aiders may also signpost people to professional and other support in this area.  They can encourage essential communication about mental health issues, but they also need to be supported by wider management culture and measures.  

To become a Mental Health First Aider, learners attend a two-day course created by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFAE) that is delivered by an accredited instructor. MHFAE have also created a one-day Metal Health Champions and half-day Mental Health Aware course.

ECA can offer* the MHFAE accredited two-day course, as well as the one-day Mental Health Champion and half day Mental Health Awareness courses, at a significant discount to Members (*subject to ECA trainer availability). To find out more contact: H&