This World Mental Health Day we're starting the conversation about mental health across our nationwide workforce
Today is World Mental Health day and to show our support we wanted to share some of the things that we’ve been doing here at Plastic Surgeon to help start a conversation about mental health and improve our employees’ wellbeing.
Earlier this year Construction News published the results of research into the current state of wellbeing in the construction industry. Having surveyed 1,300 workers, the results were startling, suggesting 30% of workers had taken time off for mental health issues with 63% of those hiding the real reason from their employer.
The stigma around mental health is a key part of the problem and it’s something that we, as a business, are keen to address. We’ve always had a thorough mental health support framework in place but over the last 6 months we’ve taken steps to improve our support and help break down the barriers around mental health.
In June of this year we launched our in-house Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which looks to offer practical support for any issues which may be causing our staff problems. It could be anything from legal concerns to housing worries or just someone to listen. Although it doesn’t replace our existing support network, the EAP offers a completely confidential service manned by qualified counsellors – whether it be by phone, online or in person.
Feedback from our staff on the EAP has been great, which is reassuring, but we want to go further to help spread awareness and open up the discussion in the workplace, so we’re also actively fundraising in support of the Mental Health Foundation. Later this week, 14 members of the team will be taking on a half marathon, the Great West Run in Exeter, with a range of levels in the company taking part from finishers to directors. We also plan to match fund any sponsorship the participants manage to raise (up to £700).
To celebrate World Mental Health day we’re also taking part in Tea & Talk in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. At our head office we’re encouraging staff to bring in cakes today, grab a cuppa and start talking about mental health. Meanwhile all 200 of our field-based workers have received a Tea & Talk pack with top tips to boost their mental health, including, of course, a drink and piece of cake to go with it – the perfect way to start a conversation during the day.
Boosting the mental health of our staff is hugely important to us. While we can’t solve all the issues facing the wider construction industry we can ensure our own staff feel supported. Our entire management team is dedicated to keeping the issue at the top of the agenda and continually evaluating our processes to ensure we’re always providing the best support for staff.
Find out more about World Mental Health Day and how you can support mental health initiatives throughout the year.