The UK construction sector’s efforts to improve the health and mental wellbeing of its workforce have been stepped up with the full roll out of the Mates in Mind initiative.
Mates in Mind has led in the creation of a flexible and joined up approach that is tailored to the needs of individual construction companies as they seek to tackle poor mental health whilst also nurturing positive mental wellbeing amongst their workforce.
The programme is being delivered to the UK construction industry in support of the Health in Construction Leadership Group and in partnership with a number of industry representatives and mental health charities. Key to its success is breaking the silence and stigma that can surround mental health in society in general and the construction sector in particular by promoting a culture of positive wellbeing.
According to Health and Safety Executive figures, 18 per cent of reported work-related illnesses in the UK construction industry are the result of mental health problems, such as stress, depression or anxiety – accounting for 400k working days lost each year. Furthermore, industry data reports that 55 per cent of construction workers had experienced mental health issues whilst 42 per cent are living with these issues at their current workplace. Construction deaths from suicide are also believed to be potentially ten times higher than that of fatal accidents at work.
Central to the Mates in Mind framework is providing construction firms with a joined up approach to mental health, from support to employees, line managers and the organisation, through to a tiered training framework developed in collaboration with various organisations including British Safety Council, Mind and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. This builds understanding, knowledge and confidence amongst all workers, throughout the business, so that they can get the help they need as well as to identify colleagues who could benefit from further support.
More information on Mates in Mind and details on how to access its training materials and support resources are available at: www.matesinmind.org