UK charity Construction Industry Helpline has published its 2018 results and launched a free mobile phone app.
The charity, funded by The Lighthouse Club, provides a round the clock helpline for construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. The results show that 1,662 families in crisis called the helpline, with 662 of the cases seeking emergency financial support, an increase of over 40 percent on 2018. The amount of donations made totalled £1.25 million, an increase of 75 percent on 2017.
Of the calls made to the helpline, 1,033 were given advice and support on issues ranging from mental wellbeing through to legal, debt management and taxation. The charity has also seen a major increase in requests for its helpline packs and now has over 350,000 helpline cards in circulation within the construction workforce.
With the support of construction software firm Coins, the charity has also launched a new helpline app to provide people with more information about how they can help themselves or take the next step in seeking professional help. It aims to provide support at the early stages of a situation so that the problem does not reach a life critical stage, giving information, advice and guidance on topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, anger and suicidal thoughts. It can be downloaded for free from both the Google Play and App Store.
Chief executive Bill Hill said: “On the positive side the 2018 figures show that we are reaching out to more construction workers and their families, but it also means that too many of them find themselves in desperate situations. The significant escalation in families needing our support has taken us by surprise and has put pressure on our finances. With two construction workers taking their own life every single working day, and stress, depression, and anxiety accounting for a fifth of all work related illness, it’s vital that we continue to provide our helpline services and put additional funding into the construction industry’s dedicated and volunteer led, Building Mental Health programme. But the only way that we can plan ahead is with predictable income. That’s why we launched our Company Supporters initiative and our ‘Save a Life’ campaign. We’re urging companies to pledge a regular annual donation to ensure the long term sustainability of our valuable charitable services.”
A video explaining the charity’s new app can be seen below.