As part of our commitment to mental health awareness, and wider Mates in Mind campaign, we are supporting our employees on World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 which takes place Tuesday, 10th September.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) more than 1,400 construction workers took their own lives between 2011 and 2015. In 2016, the figure was put at 450. The Samaritans website has published some key statistics:
It is important that in the construction industry we provide the right support for our workers, protecting their health and wellbeing at all times and providing the necessary signposting and care.
Mates in Mind was established by the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) with the support of the British Safety Council to provide clear information to employers on available support and guidance on mental health, mental illness and mental wellbeing, and how they can address this within their organisations. The organisation has given itself the objective to reach 100,000 workers in the first year, and by 2025, to have reached 75% of the construction industry.
They have a vision to:
As support of this, Van Elle will be raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing with posters in offices, raising direct awareness with managers and employees through the internal text messaging system and having a day of joint HR (Human Resources) & HSQE (Health, Safety, Quality and Environment) team visits to a variety of sites across the UK.
These visits will allow employees to access a drop-in-surgery type service and encourage employees to spot and seek help.
All this will be followed by call round to supervisors checking up on teams. Just last week one of our HSQE team, Angela Blakesley, had been engaging with staff to seek their viewpoint on wellbeing ideas and getting them to talk about mental health openly and freely with their colleagues.
You can read more about this in the recent article in the Guardian, which is pertinent to the Construction Industry – Click Here