Willmott Dixon has launched its new All Safe Minds campaign, encouraging mental fitness across the UK construction sector.
Mental well-being is quite rightly a hot topic, and at last we’re seeing a massive shift in attitudes towards those who battle with mental illness. But despite major steps in the right direction, the construction sector still has a lot of work to do – especially when it comes to the age-old problem of getting men to talk about how they feel.
Recent studies commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) found that certain groups of male construction workers were at greatest risk of suicide, with figures at a staggering 3.7 times above the national average.
As one of the UK’s largest contractors, Willmott Dixon takes its social responsibility very seriously, and has forged ahead with the All Safe Minds campaign to ensure that everyone working on its many project sites across the UK, is fully aware of the support network available, should they feel unable to cope with their own personal situation.
In 2010, the All Safe culture-change initiative was introduced with the sole purpose of empowering the workforce with the right to speak up if they feel that safety conditions on site are not up to standard. To further strengthen the All Safe programme, and to encourage not only physical well-being, but also mental fitness across the industry, Willmott Dixon have now launched All Safe Minds.
All Safe Minds aims to instil a 3-step process into its daily work culture, encouraging all employees to:
– RECOGNISE. Be aware if you or someone you know is struggling to cope
– REACH OUT. Start the conversation. If you are struggling, talk to someone you trust. Or if you know a colleague is struggling, offer your support – simply lending an ear can make all the difference.
– REBUILD. Use the resources available to you to start taking back control.
The All Safe Minds campaign will make it as easy as possible for vulnerable workers to tap into a variety of resources, and is also working on a suite of supporting material that will be issued to everyone on site, for their own personal use should they ever feel the need.
Mark French is Head of Health, Safety and Environment for Willmott Dixon Group and he is determined to get people talking. He comments:
“Men are famous for not addressing their emotional issues, and when you add that to working in such a high-pressure industry, the results can be catastrophic. The purpose of All Safe Minds is to provide an easy route for anyone feeling they might need some support – providing them with the tools they need to make the all-important first steps. The 3 Rs; Recognise, Reach out, Rebuild, need to become second nature as we go about our daily routine and we need to completely dispel the idea that mental health problems are a taboo. Encouraging mental fitness is imperative in such a highly charged industry – the issue is real, it is NOT a weakness, and we have to offer the right support when we spot it.”
The All Safe Minds campaign will continue to develop over the coming months, as supporting material and resources are produced and rolled out across all Willmott Dixon project sites.