Today marks the next crucial phase in the UK construction sector’s efforts to improve the health and mental wellbeing of its workforce as it welcomes the full launch of the Mates in Mind charity initiative
The Mates in Mind charity has led in the creation of a flexible and co-operative approach that is tailored to the needs of individual construction companies as they seek to overcome 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 conjunction with a number of industry representatives and mental health charities. Key to its success is breaking the stigma that can surround mental health in society in general and the construction sector in particular by promoting a culture of positive mental wellbeing.
According to Health and Safety Executive figures, 18% of reported work-related illnesses in the UK construction industry are the result of mental wellbeing problems, such as stress, depression or anxiety – accounting for 400,000 working days lost each year*.
Vital to the Mates in Mind framework is providing construction firms with a co-operative 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.
Commenting on the further launch of Mates in Mind, Steve Hails, Chair of Mates in Mind Board and Director of Health, Safety and Well-being at Tideway, said: “Today is a significant moment as we roll out the Mates in Mind framework and resources for businesses to use. This is the culmination of several months of hard work and would not have been possible without the substantial help of key mental health charities and its championing by industry representatives. Mates in Mind represents a meaningful way forward for tackling mental ill health in the workplace whilst also encouraging a positive wellbeing culture.”
Supporting the announcement, Clive Johnson, Chair of the Health in Construction Leadership Group and Head of Health and Safety at Landsec, said: “For too many years the industry has been shouting about safety but only whispering about health. I am extremely proud that Landsec and the HCLG are at the forefront of ensuring mental health provision within construction is dramatically improved.”
More information on Mates in Mind charity and details on how to access its training materials and support resources are available at: www.matesinmind.org