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Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity, urges the industry not to turn a blind eye to mental health problems that are affecting thousands of people in the electrical sector.

Every four minutes someone in the UK tries to kill themselves and every hour someone succeeds... In the last year alone, there were 6,122 deaths by suicide recorded in the UK of which 76% were men. These recent findings have also shown that the risk of suicide for those working in the building and construction industry was 1.6 times higher than the national average. This means that right now, one of your colleagues could be suffering in silence and needs your support.

Mental health problems can affect any electrician or installer at any time. In fact, many may already be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression due to many factors such as family, relationship or work problems. An alarming 95% of people in the industry often lie about how they are feeling, or don’t tell anyone that they are struggling. As a result, they are left to suffer in silence which often makes the situation spiral out of control.

The wellbeing and mental health of people in the electrical sector is important to the Electrical Industries Charity, and this is why the EIC offers exclusive access to support services at the most challenging times through its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is directly funded by powerLottery. The EAP gives employees and their families free access to vital support services including telephone counselling, careers advice and assistance as well as confidential emotional support which is provided by the Charity’s range of partners.

One of the key messages however is that the stigma of mental health can be a silent killer. Therefore, early intervention is key to preventing mental health problems from spiralling out of control. As an industry we all have a part to play in turning someone’s life around before it is too late.

By simply signing up to the Electrical Industries Charity’s powerLottery for as little as £1 per entry, you can help the Charity to continue providing free support services through EAP and at the same time you could be in with a chance of winning 15 cash prizes of up to £1,000 every month.

Your £1 per month or £12 per year can help people like Anant Savani to get access to crucial support services in a time of need and help to turn their lives around. Anant couldn’t share his feelings of anxiety and depression with his colleagues or his family and friends, and as a result, he became severely depressed and ultimately suicidal. He was referred to the Electrical Industries Charity by a former colleague, and he is now receiving counselling and ongoing support from the Charity which will help him to get back on his feet and look forward to a brighter future.

In the electrical sector, mental health issues and suicide remains a taboo subject, which makes it even harder for people experiencing mental health problems to open up and feel understood. For as little as £1 per month, which is less than a cup of coffee or a bar of chocolate a day, you can help the Charity to support thousands of other people in the electrical sector like Anant and help to end the ongoing stigma of mental health.

So far 21,000 people have signed up to the Charity’s number one fundraising stream - powerLottery - to show their support and help the Charity to continue providing life-changing services to thousands of industry colleagues and their families. If you would like to support the industry in a fun and easy way, simply download the new EIC powerLottery app on your Apple or Android device and tap the app to be in with a chance to win big prizes each month.

Do not hesitate to help a colleague in difficult times and don’t let them become another statistic. Act now by simply signing up to the Employee Assistance Programme or sign up to play the Charity’s powerLottery today and help us continue to provide support services for thousands of colleagues in their time of need.

We can give a hand-up to everyone in our industry.

Will you help us reach those in need? Learn how you can get involved.