UK tradespeople feeling stress and anxiety

Ahead of World Mental Health Day (10th October), IronmongeryDirect is highlighting a recent survey that has shown that nearly half (49%) of UK tradespeople have experienced mental health problems due to work related issues. The UK’s largest supplier of specialist ironmongery, found that nearly three in five (58%) experience some form of mental health problem, such as stress, anxiety or depression, at least once a week. 

Money worries cause the most stress, with 38% of tradespeople blaming financial situations for giving them anxiety. Other issues, such as tensions with customers (31%) and suppliers (29%), are also major causes of concern for tradespeople. 

The 10 issues which cause the most stress for tradespeople are: 

  1. Finances (38%) 
  2. Tensions with customers (31%) 
  3. Tensions with suppliers (29%) 
  4. High workload (26%) 
  5. Tensions with business partners (26%) 
  6. Job security (21%) 
  7. Doing the best job for customers (12%) 
  8. Making mistakes (11%) 
  9. Abuse from customers (6%) 
  10. Lack of work (5%) 

Female tradespeople (57%) are significantly more likely to experience work related mental health problems than their male counterparts (41%). Additionally, the main causes of stress and anxiety differ between the genders, with women more likely to feel stressed due to finances (39%) and tensions with business partners (29%), whilst men are more affected by high workloads (39%) and tensions with suppliers (37%).  

When it comes to age, middle aged tradespeople experience the most work-related related mental health issues. Nearly three in five (57%) tradespeople aged between 45-54 report stress and anxiety due to work. 

When dealing with mental health problems, nearly half (48%) of tradespeople said they choose to talk to friends and families about their issues. Less than a third (32%) choose to seek counselling, while more than a quarter (28%) take medication. The research also found that a similar number (29%) do not feel comfortable talking to people close to them about their mental health. Furthermore, more than a third (34%) do not know how to access support services.  

Marco Verdonkschot, MD at IronmongeryDirect, comments: “It’s shocking and saddening to see that mental health problems are so widespread in the industry. We feel that it’s vital for the stigma of mental health to be removed from the industry, and whilst we understand it can be difficult to open up, we encourage all tradespeople to talk about their problems. Whether this is with friends and family, your employer, or professional counsellors, speaking about your problems can often be the first step to addressing them.” 

For the 2021 report of mental health in the trades industry, visit: 


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