This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The focus of this year’s campaign led by the Mental Health Foundation is “kindness”.
The Mental Health Foundation have chosen kindness because of its ability to unlock our shared humanity. Now more than ever we need to re-discover our connection to kindness and each other in our daily lives. The Mental Health Foundation are using Mental Health Awareness Week this year to celebrate the many thousands of acts of kindness that are so central to the quality of our mental health – especially during these times.
The last two months have been some of the most difficult for the Construction Industry, and yet could be some of the most defining. It has seen collaboration like never before, innovation, knowledge and resource sharing, and strengthened relationships through collective purpose – that being to ensure the health, safety and mental wellbeing of those working in the industry.
As with all things, kindness starts with self; and as our industry begins to recover as one collective self, it is more important than ever to protect the health safety and wellbeing of employees.
In our industry, stereotypes might suggest that kindness may seem unwelcome to an external onlooker, however the last two months have taught us that kindness is in everything we do.
There is widespread acknowledgement of the risk that the current pandemic poses to the mental health of employees with Mind reporting significant increases in people seeking help with no history of mental health issues prior to this pandemic as just one example.
Relationships, and kindness are crucial to both industry and individual when it comes to supporting mental health. The key to ongoing success will be in maintaining cross-industry collaboration and kinship not only as we ‘return to work’ but as we continuously, and collaboratively campaign for good mental health.
As always there has been some fantastic work going on across the Industry but there is still much more that can be done to ensure that good mental health is for all, not just the few, and not just for this week.
Given the wide range of issues raised by Covid-19 and its creeping indirect effects and risks for the future, industry support is readily available with links to resources, tools, and further information below, I hope that some of these may be of use to you, your colleagues and friends.
Be kind to yourselves,
Co-Chair Construction Leadership Council
Find out more about the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Kindness matters’ campaign and to access supporting resources here.
Mates in Mind: Working to address the stigma of mental health in the construction industry. Provides clear information, advice, training and support to employees and employers. Updated COVID-19 resources and Live-Online training is available. Access ‘Be a mate’ and other campaign resources here as well as the new ‘making mental health work’ toolkit to support workers mental health during COVID-19. Signposting for additional help visit: https://www.matesinmind.org/need-help.html General enquiries: 020 3510 5018
Lighthouse: Provide a confidential 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline which is available to the industry’s workforce and their families in the UK and Ireland. The Helpline is supported and marketed by the CCS. The helpline provides the first point of contact for those who need to access a completely confidential support service: 0345 605 1956 The Construction Industry helpline can also be accessed via an app on google play and apple stores for quick support and signposting. Find out more here.
The John O’Halloran Initiative seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst firms in the property industry, and to help them to support their employees. You can find out more at https://www.lionheart.org.uk/john-o-halloran.
Samaritans: Provides support and assistance to anyone across all sectors. They also work extensively in the construction sector. To email a Samaritan; firstname.lastname@example.org For immediate help 24hours a day call: 116 123
Mind: Provide support and advice to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Mind continue to update their guidance to support people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus. Most recently providing a Coronavirus and your wellbeing toolkit and specific guidance on managing difficult feelings about returning to work.
For more information call: 0300 123 3393
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Mind are offering a free webinar on 21st May 2.30-3.30 on Supporting remote workers; register here. The webinar will include:
How the coronavirus is impacting our mental health
- What the impact of coronavirus is on employee mental health
- What should line managers consider in providing the best possible support to their staff
- Top tips for looking after your own mental health whilst working from home
- Signposting to resources and further support for your sector
Public Health England: Launched ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign and online tool for last year’s mental health awareness week. This year the tool has been updated to support during the current COVID-19 crisis. The tool is a short online assessment that produces 6 step action plan to support mental wellbeing that includes videos, podcasts, information sheets, and signposting. Not designed to support in an emergency, but to proactively support a number of mental health challenges i.e. sleep, stress, anxiety, etc.
Movember: Is a charity aimed at raising awareness of Men’s Health on a global scale. Their movement started with raising awareness, support and funds for prostate cancer and has evolved to include men’s mental health over the last few years. For mental health awareness week 2020 they have launched an online programme called ‘Movember Conversations’ designed to give practical guidance on how to have a difficult conversation with someone who might be struggling at the moment.