Raising awareness of mental health in the construction industry

The Sewell Construction team were among a group of people from the business who attended a recent mental health awareness training course, finding out more to support health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The course addressed the stigma around discussing mental health and revealed some eye-opening statistics about how mental health affects the construction industry.

It covered important points, including factors which impact on mental health such as stress, and encouraged reassuring conversations to support colleagues, as well as looking at recovery and tips on how to look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

Martin Standley, Project Manager at Sewell Construction, was among those who attended the awareness training.

He said: “It was really useful to gain an awareness of mental health and it opened my eyes to things which might be going on in other people’s lives, and mine to a degree.

“If more people had that same level of awareness, it would give people a better understanding of how to deal with a situation should it arise.

“Pressure is all around you in construction and more should be done to protect people in the industry.

“We were told that the latest research showed two people in construction take their life in the UK every day and that men in the construction industry are three times more likely to kill themselves than in any other line of work, which was shocking.”

Martin said the awareness training was a positive experience and he took several learning points away with him.

He said: “They demonstrated a tool called a ‘stress bucket’, which gave you an awareness as to whether your ‘stress bucket’ is almost full or overflowing, how you let off steam and what your coping strategies are. That’s one of the biggest things I took away from the session.

“I’ve trained my mind over the years to not let things affect me, but people have different ways of dealing with things.

“Certain events in life can make you react differently to certain situations. The session encouraged you to look out for signs, such as when people of a usually sunny disposition become withdrawn or inward. It’s very important to be mindful.”

The training was delivered by BlueRidge, which provides leadership training, business coaching, mental health first aid training and personality profiling to support and develop teams.

For more information about mental health-related specifically to the construction industry visit: www.buildingmentalhealth.net