Introducing Real Talk
03 February 2022
Statistics* show that our industry has some of the worst rates of suicide in the UK, with male construction workers being 2.7 times more likely to commit suicide than those working in other industries.
But it’s not just the individual that poor mental ill health affects – it has a deep impact on family, friends and colleagues.
In line with Time to Talk, an annual awareness day on 3rd February about facilitating conversations around mental health, we’re making our own changes around mental health awareness to ensure that our colleagues feel they are supported and are able to talk freely about their experiences with mental health.
We’re calling it “Real Talk” and will be taking the steps to promote an open environment encouraging wellbeing and mental health discussions to take place.
Our starting point has been creating a dedicated group of our colleagues to create a mental health first aid team. They’ve all put themselves forward as mental health first aiders with a personal drive for helping those who may need help or advice in the face of mental health issues.
The training, carried out by specialist health, safety and wellbeing training provider Siren, has taught the mental health first aiders how to recognise potential signs of issues arising, and how to offer people in need the right advice, and to be able to signpost them to various support systems and services.
To make sure that colleagues across the organisation are aware of the team, we will be regularly sharing details of the how they can be contacted and what support they will be offering. The team will be out and about actively engaging with colleagues in environments such as regular, confidential drop-in sessions.
Paul Nicholls Chief Executive at Real, said
“Poor mental health statistics in construction are becoming increasingly worrying. There’s been so much progression in understanding and helping those who suffer with stress, anxiety and depression in wider society in recent years - but our industry is still way behind.
"As a business we want to do everything we can do make sure our colleagues know if they are experiencing mental health issues that we will do everything we can to support them – starting with implementing our mental health first aid team.
"We’re committed to providing as many opportunities for our colleagues as possible to facilitate conversation. We want to ensure our colleagues are aware that they have a supportive working environment that has no room for stigma.”
*statistics from Chartered Institute of Building