The firms are the first to sign up to the industry’s Mates in Mind programme, which aims to raise awareness about mental health in the industry.
It is estimated that the number of deaths from suicide in the construction industry could be 10 times higher than those from fatal accidents at work.
With one in six people in the workplace experiencing a mental health issue in their lifetime, the Centre for Mental Health estimates that 91 million working days are lost each year, a cost equivalent to all UK employers of £26bn.
Mates in Mind, led by the Health in Construction Leadership Group and supported by the British Safety Council, aims to reach 100,000 employees in the first year, with three quarters of the industry briefed on promoting positive mental health by 2025.
Over 300 construction leaders yesterday committed to tackling the stigma associated with mental health through employer support and sharing of information.
The crusade will be backed with a mental health first aid training programme supported by Mental Health Fist Aid England, Mind, and the Samaritans.
Under the programme, senior managers will receive two-days of training, with construction site supervisors receiving a morning of training in mental health awareness.
Individual workers will also receive 45 minutes on training as part of the Mates in Mind programme being signed up to by contracting bosses.
Major clients Thames Tideway, Heathrow and Land Securities are also backing the programme.
Clive Johnson, one of the founding members and chair of the HCLG and Group Head of Health, Safety and Security at Land Securities, said: “With suicide causing ten times more deaths than accidents on sites, it is imperative that the industry is truly aware of the deeply impactful consequences of unaddressed mental health issues.”
“In raising this issue today with over 300 industry leaders, we have set the foundations to addressing mental health openly, confidently and honestly within the construction industry; not just by ‘starting the conversation’ but by providing delegates with the skills and knowledge to go back into their workplace and address this issue head on.”