Following on from the focus on mental health at the successful Electric Lunch event in Belfast earlier this year, the Electrical Industries Charity has again urged workers in the electrical sector to help those suffering from mental health issues.
The stigma of mental health issues is a serious barrier and one which the industry needs to overcome – both for adults and young apprentices. Mental health stigma can be a silent killer. In the electrical sector alone, around 200 construction workers commit suicide each year.
The Office of National Statistics showed that suicide is the biggest killer of young people aged 20-34 in the UK each year, which is greater than it has been for the past 10 years. In 2015 alone, 1,660 young people under 35 years old took their own lives; 58 more than the previously recorded highest figure.
An apprentice going through a rough patch needs support to allow progression and achieve a lifetime of productive and satisfying work. To help young people strive towards excellence in their chosen careers while assisting them in creating a brighter future for themselves, the Electrical Industries Charity has launched the Employee Assistance Programme, of which the Apprentice Support Programme is part.
The Apprentice Support Programme was designed to help young people in the electrical sector to deal with some of the key challenges that affect them as they embark on their chosen career path. The support services include debt management, financial assistance, counselling, support for carers, scholarships, apprentice bursary scheme, engineering scholarship, legal support, complex case management support and career development and transition assistance.
Early intervention and a solid support network can have a huge impact on young individuals who are struggling to reach their goals due to obstacles standing in their way. The Charity continuously offers that much-needed support to meet the challenges faced when starting out in a new career and achieve lifetime goals for the future.
The stigma of mental health issues is also prevalent in the adult workforce in the electrical sector. Time to Change’s ‘State of Stigma’ survey revealed that 90% of people with mental health problems are still experiencing some form of stigma, whether from friends and family or at work. The Electrical Industries Charity’s latest records show that, in the electrical sector only 5% of people share their problems with their partner.
To address these concerning figures, the Charity launched its Employee Assistance Programme which offers crucial support for people in our sector. In the past year, the Charity assisted over 4,000 people in the electrical sector who were in need of such assistance.
Sign up for the charity’s Employee Assistance Programme or Apprentice Support Programme and help to break the silence while ending the stigma of mental health issues in our sector.