Fifteen employees at Dorset Chartered Builders, Greendale Construction Limited, have attended a mental health awareness course, with five staff also completing a mental health first aid course, in-line with the Company’s ongoing commitment to raising awareness of mental health in an industry where workers are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average UK male.
Additionally, the Poole based Company has introduced the ‘midday mile,’ where all staff are encouraged to join together daily for a walk around the surrounding area in a bid to promote good health and mental well-being, giving staff a break away from their desks, some fresh air and the chance to socialise with colleagues.
Maria Seabright, HR and finance director at Greendale Construction, explained: “Sadly, the UK construction industry sees more workers die by suicide than by falls. The challenging lifestyle which can involve long, demanding hours, and for some, weeks away from home whilst on-site, undoubtedly creates the stressful factors which contribute to poor mental health. In a workforce that is still predominantly male, specific risks associated with male mental health also need to be considered. Asking for help and opening up about emotions are just not things that come naturally to many of those working in the industry, and the combination of these factors results in many suffering in silence.
“One in six of us has a mental health problem such as stress, anxiety or depression, yet one in five fear that disclosure could cost them their job. According to the Centre for Mental Health 91 million days are lost each year due to mental health problems. We, as employers, have a duty of care to ensure the wellbeing of our staff. We all have mental health just as we have physical health, and both have their ups and downs. A minor health problem one day could be a major issue the next.
“Construction thrives on change and teamwork, and at Greendale we want to embrace an environment where our managers understand their roles and responsibilities when it comes to dealing with mental wellbeing. By attending these courses, we believe that our managers will be much more aware of any issues that may arise regarding mental health within their teams and the people they manage.
“We, as an organisation, want to promote positive mental wellbeing. This is incredibly important for us and we have therefore introduced the ‘midday mile,' where all staff are encouraged to join together daily for a walk around the surrounding area. This promotes good health and mental well-being, giving staff a break away from their desks, a bit of fresh air, and socialising with colleagues. This is an initiative that we learnt from Ouch Training Team after staff recently attended a Mental Health Awareness Course - something we would highly recommend this to everyone.”