Raising awareness for mental health in the electrical trade

17th May 2022

Raising awareness for mental health in the electrical trade

Mental Health Awareness Week is a yearly opportunity to shine a light on the recurring issue of mental health issues amongst tradespeople. We take a look at the issues that are affecting electricians specifically and what can be done to improve the situation.

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The scale

According to our survey, more than a fifth (21%) of electricians have experienced some form of mental health issue due to work.

When asked how often they experience mental health issues, almost a quarter (24%) of electricians said once a fortnight on average. One in 12 (8%) said at least once a week, and unfortunately more than one in seven (15%) experience these issues every day.

Our survey also revealed the extent that mental health issues affect electricians in both their personal and professional lives. Almost a quarter (23%) of electricians said that they have taken time off work due to work-related stress, and more than one in ten (11%) feel worried about what others would think of them if they expressed their issues.

The causes

We asked electricians about the main triggers for their work-related stress, with some of the most common answers being tensions with suppliers (29%), customers (27%), and business partners (28%). Other common answers include financial worries (31%) and, unfortunately, abuse from customers (29%).

Other findings confirmed that high workload and the risk of catching COVID-19 are also significant causes for concern (both 20%).

The below shows the top causes of stress for tradespeople overall:

Mental Health in the Trades

What can be done?

Our study has shown that just 11% of electricians feel comfortable discussing their mental health with others, so it is important to create a sense of trust and comfort for anyone struggling with such issues, with the hope that others will feel more comfortable discussing their own experiences.

Checking in with your friends, family and colleagues regularly is a great way to show people that they have the support of others around them, and can create a sense of camaraderie in workplaces.

In the context of a workplace, it is important that all employees, especially management, are aware of not only the warning signs that a colleague is struggling with their mental health, but also the impact it can have. Therefore, it is advised that businesses make an effort to invest in mental health training, so that the work environment is a healthy place for everyone in all aspects.

If you are struggling

Although others can help to support you with any struggles with mental health issues, there are things you can do yourself to start improving the situation.

It is important to understand more about stress and how it can affect you, then work to identify what could be triggering it. From there, you can learn to adopt coping mechanisms and strategies that work best for you. These could include exercise, hobbies, or even seeking medical intervention if you feel you need to.

One popular strategy is the concept of mindfulness, which is defined as: “a technique you can learn which involves noticing what's happening in the present moment, without judgement. You might take notice and be aware of your mind, body or surroundings.”¹. This technique can help many people stay grounded and not become overwhelmed by stress and negative emotions.

Mental Health in the Trades

What ElectricalDirect is doing to help

Here at ElectricalDirect, we believe that it is vital that everyone should have access to mental health services, which is why, along with our sister site, IronmongeryDirect, we have so far raised over £3,000 for Basildon Mind. This will help support Mind’s mission to be a vital source of information and provide support to those struggling with mental health issues.

To read more about how mental health issues affect tradespeople, you can read our Mental Health in the Trades: 2022 Report over at IronmongeryDirect.