The importance of talking about metal wellbeing and the value in opening up about emotions will be discussed with 800 Lincolnshire construction workers.
Lindum Group and the Rilmac Group have teamed up to support a campaign by national charity Mates in Mind, which aims to address the stigma around poor mental health and improve positive mental wellbeing among those working in the building sector.
Together the two businesses will deliver workshops designed to help change the culture in construction and encourage employees to see the worth in being open about how they are feeling.
The sessions will be backed up by poster campaigns and will see all employees given information about support networks as well as contact details for a 24-hour mental health helpline.
The campaign is being rolled out to coincide with this year’s national Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins on Monday, May 13th, and comes as statistics show 34 per cent of construction workers have experienced a mental health condition in the last 12 months and suicide rates amongst construction workers is 3.7 times above the national average.
Head of HR at Lindum, Warren Glover, said it was crucial employers take an active role in addressing the struggles faced by the industry’s workforce.
“The construction industry lifestyle is both challenging and stressful yet asking for help and opening up about emotions are not things that come naturally to many of those working in the industry,” he said.
“To try to change this, we will be delivering ‘tool box talks’ to our employees, which are basically a conversation with those on site and in the office about what metal health is, what can impact it and why it’s is a good idea to share how you are feeling.
“During these sessions we will discuss the challenges people might face in their jobs and talk about the kind of pressures at home which could negatively affect our mental health. We will also discuss how to spot someone who might be having a hard time and give people confidence to start a conversation with them.
“This will be backed up by poster campaigns and all staff will be given a handy, credit card-size handout to keep, which lists contact numbers for relevant support groups and charities which can help those who might feel like they are struggling to cope.”
Steve Baxter, Rilmac Group Managing Director added.
“Each person that we employ at Rilmac is unique and it is essential that we actively support and offer care to each of our employees. We are more likely to share information about our physical wellbeing than mental health that can be unfortunately perceived negatively. It is therefore important that we promote a positive environment that encourages people to not only share concerns but recognise the symptoms of mental health issues in those around them. By signing up to this initiative we can help to break the silence and stigma around mental health. We can help everyone understand their role and responsibility when it comes to our employees’ mental wellbeing. Together we can create a healthier working environment, together we are stronger.”
Mates in Mind was born out of a partnership between the Health in Construction Leadership Group and British Safety Council. Its aim is to make sense of available options and support available to employers. It works in partnership with leading charities such as Mind, Samaritans and Mental Health First Aid England.