With male construction workers three times more likely to commit suicide than the average UK male, the issue of mental health is one we take very seriously here at AB Glass, especially in the context of the challenges posed by lockdown and the Coronavirus.
A recent poll by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that 44% pf UK workers are anxious as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Bodies such as the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) are encouraging the construction industry in particular to take a proactive approach to tackling mental health on side and in the workplace.
We are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week (running May 18 to 20) and managing this challenge is a priority for us as a company. There are a number of fantastic initiatives in the construction industry, which we support and which we encourage our employees to embrace.
One is the Mental Health Foundation, which has launched a series of free online workshops for people in construction and offers an ongoing helpline. Also, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity’s Free App has been upgraded with several new features in time for Mental Health Awareness Week.
The new features focus on preventative tools and building resilience in the areas of mental, physical, and financial wellbeing and guides users through a series of questions to provide the best possible information, advice and guidance.
The charity’s mission is that “no construction worker or their family is alone in a crisis” and this new version of its popular self-support app complements their free 24/7 Construction Industry helpline and their free online “Lunch and Learn” wellbeing courses.
Finally, working in collaboration with national construction framework organisation Pagabo and software provider Sypro, mental health charity Mates in Mind has released two videos aimed at providing practical advice for those who may be struggling with loneliness or to manage their mental health during this period.
Alongside these initiatives, we ensure that we speak to staff on a regular basis to try to ease any anxieties they have while also operating a company that is understanding and supportive of those with mental health problems.
We encourage everyone involved in the industry to do the same, especially given the wider challenges we face as a result of COVID-19.