With one in four said to experience a mental health problem each year, O’Neill & Brennan are delighted to announce we are currently working closely with Henry Construction Projects Limited and Middlesex University on a research project to investigate the role of individual, group, and project level resilience to improve mental health in Construction.

The research is being led by Henry Construction HSQE Director and Luke Hands MSc, BSc, PIEMA, AIOSH, CQP MCQI, CEnv, MIEnvSc by way of a doctorate with Middlesex University. Shocking data from the ONS shows that more than 1,400 construction workers took their own lives between 2011 and 2015.

The research aim is to establish how to improve risk awareness and determine realistic reduction measures which can successfully combat the issue for all stakeholders affected. The project’s aim is not to just inform and corroborate the mental health crisis within the Construction industry, but to establish measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk, and re-evaluate the risk to work towards an acceptable level.

“We truly hope this research, although only in its infancy, can make a difference not only for Henry Construction but possibly for the entire Construction industry. Work-related stress is the leading cause of work absence but is rarely reported. The uncertainty that comes with limited-term contracts, long hours, and lengthy commutes, as well as isolation due to time away from family on unfamiliar and temporary worksites, are all frequently mentioned reasons for poor mental health.” Luke Hands - Director of Health, Safety, Environmental & Quality

So far the research has illustrated that physical group activities, such as football and rugby, while undertaken as a team, have significant positive outcomes. This calls for collective planning and decision-making when designing and delivering mental health interventions at the workplace.

O’Neill & Brennan are currently expanding the number of Mental Health First Aiders to assist with the research data collection along with a company-wide mental health questionnaire in order to acquire the data needed for the research.

“We are delighted to be assisting Henry Construction with this research. We feel the topic needs an industry-wide holistic approach in addressing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace”

John McGrath - Director O'Neill & Brennan

The research plan proposes to disseminate the full results in early 2023. If you feel you can assist the research in any way please feel free to contact