COVID restrictions adversely affecting mental health

To mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020), new research has been released showing that three in five (60%) skilled tradespeople across the nation feel the COVID-19 outbreak has caused a negative effect on their mental health.   

The research, commissioned by Local Heroes’ Mental Health Study, surveyed 500 tradespeople across the country. It found that worries about the health of loved ones (52%), financial concerns (51%), redundancy fears (41%) and social-distancing (40%) due to the pandemic are affecting British trade workers’ emotional wellbeing.  

“The findings from the Local Heroes survey is both worrying but unfortunately not surprising,” says Sarah Murphy, associate director for advice, information, and training at Mental Health UK. “At this unprecedented time, concerns about your own health, and that of your families, are bound to be causing stress, and this is exacerbated by loss of income also causing money worries. That is why we are delighted to be working with Local Heroes to ensure all tradespeople and their families can improve their understanding of mental health, know how to spot the signs within themselves, their colleagues and family members, and, importantly, to know where to see help and support, both for their mental and financial health.”

For further insights from the Local Heroes Mental Health Study and information around expert advice and tips, visit the Local Heroes blog. For further information on Mental Health UK and for tips, guides and resources, visit

Returning to work

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has warned that there could be another surge in mental health problems across the construction and building engineering sectors as more sites and buildings re-open.

It says Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for firms to take a proactive approach to assessing the mental health and wellbeing of all employees to avoid ‘a ticking time bomb of cases’. Many operatives are nervous about their safety on site and in buildings that may have been locked down for weeks.

A YouGov poll for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 44% of UK workers were feeling anxious about the prospect of going back to work because of the health risks posed by Covid-19. 31% are anxious about commuting – a figure that jumps to 52% in London.

This also follows the revelation from a CBI webinar that for every person who has died during the COVID-19 pandemic, six more were suffering intense grief and had not been able to grieve properly because of social distancing measures. 

BESA chief executive David Frise says: “These sobering statistics are why it is important that this week we recognise that the pandemic is not just a health and economic crisis, but also a human one.”

Earlier in the lockdown, 41% of respondents to a poll of carried out by BESA said their mental health was worse than normal as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions – including 5% who said it was much worse.


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