Industry charity launches new text service

THE Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is launching a new text service to increase the options available for workers seeking to access support.

The text HARDHAT to 85258 service, which launches on February 1, will provide immediate support and is the latest addition to the charity’s portfolio of services.

The offering will complement the existing 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline and Helpline App, and is designed to offer support to those who feel more comfortable texting with someone rather than holding a one-to-one telephone conversation.

The text HARDHAT to 85258 service is available at any time of the day or night and offers free, anonymous and confidential support to anyone in the construction industry who is feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, suicidal or struggling with everyday life.

Individuals who text the word HARDHAT to 85258 will be put in touch with trained volunteers who will ask for a little more information about what the problem is, with the individual sharing what they feel comfortable with. The volunteers will be able to provide support and guidance on a variety of issues including; feeling anxious, relationship problems, loneliness and isolation, abuse, addiction, depression, bullying and harassment, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

The text conversation will only finish when the volunteer has helped the person to reach a calm and safe place. They will also be able to provide a plan so users can understand how to help themselves and signpost to further resources or tools to provide more expert support.

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said, “Our new text HARDHAT to 85258 service comes at a time when many are still struggling on a daily basis with debt, anxiety and family issues. Some things are returning to normality but there are still far reaching consequences and underlying problems that remain as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.

“These pressures are in addition to the normal stresses and strains of working in an industry where two workers take their own life every single working day and a fifth of all work related illness is due to stress, anxiety or depression.

“Last year our charity supported 2788 families, an increase of 23% on the previous year and we delivered £1,077,015 of charitable giving to our construction community. This support ranged from making sure there was a meal on the table for families and paying household bills, helping with debt and financial issues, and providing quick access to professional counselling sessions.

“We know that there are many people who feel embarrassed or unable to reach out for help by calling someone. Introducing our text HARDHAT to 85258 service is yet another route to access support before situations escalate out of control.

“We cannot stress enough that it really doesn’t matter how small or large you think your problem is, there is always support available and we can provide that help through the channels that people feel most comfortable with.”