Exploring the relationship between psychological distress and likelihood of help seeking in construction workers: The role of talking to workmates and knowing how to get help

Janine Chapman, Ann M. Roche, Vinita Duraisingam, Brooke Ledner, Jim Finnane, Ken Pidd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Mental health problems are prevalent in male-dominated industries such as construction, where suicide rates are higher than the population average and help seeking is typically low. OBJECTIVE: To examine psychological distress in Australian construction workers and its relationship with help seeking via two hypothesised mediators: confidence in knowing how to get help and confidence in talking to workmates about mental health issues. METHODS: Workers (N = 511) completed a survey that assessed psychological distress, likelihood of help seeking, and confidence in knowing how to get help and talking to workmates. Bootstrapped multiple mediation analysis was performed using the PROCESS macro for SPSS. RESULTS: Psychological distress was higher than national estimates and most prevalent in men aged 25-44. Controlling for age and ability to recognise personal signs of mental health problems, psychological distress negatively predicted likelihood of help seeking. This relationship was partially mediated by knowing how to get help and confidence in talking to workmates. CONCLUSIONS: Results highlight the need to redress and mitigate mental health problems among high-risk groups of male workers. It provides useful guidance on multilevel workplace strategies to reduce stigma, enhance confidence and comfort in the process of seeking help and support in construction and other male-dominated industries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-54
    Number of pages8
    JournalWork
    Volume67
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020

    Keywords

    • construction industry
    • men
    • Mental health
    • occupational health
    • psychological distress
    • workplace

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