Allen & Clarke | COVID-19 Mental Health Research

Summary of key findings from recent COVID-19 Mental Health Research

CHASNZ is a key supporter and promotor of Mates in Construction New Zealand and our CHASNZ CEO, Chris Alderson was the inaugural chair of Mates and currently sits on the Board. 

CHASNZ co-funded the recently published MATES research into the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the research was to try and understand how our construction workforce was dealing with the pandemic and what industry and businesses could do to help.

It is not surprising that the results of the research have shown a worsening of mental health driven by COVID-19. Higher workloads, adapting to new and challenging protocols as well as pressures from inevitable delays all were factors that contribute to this worsening trend. Concerns were raised over workers' physical health, sleep and time for self-care. We also found that employers could do more in checking in with their workforce regularly.

The full report can be viewed here.

The industry is in for more challenging times over the coming months with impacts from Omicron meaning even more delays and disruption on our sites. What we need to do now is prioritise the mental health of our workers. MATES have many free resources for businesses to use:

  • Checking in with your workers every week makes a difference.
  • Listening to their needs and concerns and helping them navigate conflicts between work and outside of work where possible.
  • Be supportive of those isolating, making sure they are not struggling with the pressure to come to work while sick. There is Government funding support available for employees; employers can facilitate if required. 
  • Employers also need to be aware of their own mental state, make time for yourselves and reach out early if they need help.

MATES in Construction 0800 111 315

Freephone or text 1737 to communicate immediately with a trained counsellor.

In an emergency dial 111 if you think they, you, or someone else is at risk of harm.

Other helpful numbers:

Lifeline 0800 543 354 (text 4357)

Youthline 0800 376 633

Samaritans 0800 726 666 

MATES also released the External Research Report ER65 (2021) - Construction industry suicides: numbers, characteristics and rates last year.

Download the Infograph Results Poster