Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. This year’s theme is kindness.
Kindness is central to the quality of our mental health. Now more than ever we need to strengthen our connection to each other in our daily lives, to ensure the health, safety and mental wellbeing of all of us during these difficult times.
It is more important than ever to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of employees. The last two months have been some of the most difficult for all business and all people. The pandemic poses risks not only to the physical health but to the mental health of your employees. Collaboration, innovation, knowledge and resource sharing can also help to protect people and businesses.
HSE’s management standard approach covers six key aspects of managing work-related stress and mental health: Demands, Control, Support, Relationships, Role, Change.
Relationships, support and kindness are crucial to both employers and individuals to support good mental health. Beyond the ‘kindness’ theme of the Mental Health Awareness Week. Employers also need to address other aspects especially the demand, e.g. issues such as the changing work patterns and home working environment during the pandemic. Providing support to employees which can include the encouragement and resources provided by the organization, line management and colleagues so that employees feel supported. Changes in management style during these challenging times is important, effective two-way communication should be maintained to keep all employees informed.
Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair Construction Leadership Council said, “The key to ongoing success will be in maintaining cross-industry collaboration and kinship not only as we ‘return to work’ but as we continuously, and collaboratively campaign for good mental health.”
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I hope you and your families are keeping safe and healthy.
Sandy Lu, Managing Director, Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd
Find more about our Work-related Stress Management training.
Find out more about the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Kindness matters’ campaign and to access supporting resources here.
Other organisations and useful resources:
Mates in Mind: Working to address the stigma of mental health in the construction industry. Provides clear information, advice, training and support to employees and employers. Updated COVID-19 resources and Live-Online training is available. Access ‘Be a mate’ and other campaign resources here as well as the new ‘making mental health work’ toolkit to support workers mental health during COVID-19. Signposting for additional help visit: https://www.matesinmind.org/need-help.html General enquiries: 020 3510 5018
Lighthouse: Provide a confidential 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline which is available to the industry’s workforce and their families in the UK and Ireland. The Helpline is supported and marketed by the CCS. The helpline provides the first point of contact for those who need to access a completely confidential support service: 0345 605 1956 The Construction Industry helpline can also be accessed via an app on google play and apple stores for quick support and signposting. Find out more here.
The John O’Halloran Initiative seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst firms in the property industry, and to help them to support their employees. You can find out more at https://www.lionheart.org.uk/john-o-halloran.
Samaritans: Provides support and assistance to anyone across all sectors. They also work extensively in the construction sector. To email a Samaritan; email@example.com For immediate help 24hours a day call: 116 123
Mind: Provide support and advice to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Mind continue to update their guidance to support people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus. Most recently providing a Coronavirus and your wellbeing toolkit and specific guidance on managing difficult feelings about returning to work.
Public Health England: Launched ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign and online tool for last year’s mental health awareness week. This year the tool has been updated to support during the current COVID-19 crisis. The tool is a short online assessment that produces 6 step action plan to support mental wellbeing that includes videos, podcasts, information sheets, and signposting. Not designed to support in an emergency, but to proactively support a number of mental health challenges i.e. sleep, stress, anxiety, etc.
Movember: Is a charity aimed at raising awareness of Men’s Health on a global scale. Their movement started with raising awareness, support and funds for prostate cancer and has evolved to include men’s mental health over the last few years. For mental health awareness week 2020 they have launched an online programme called ‘Movember Conversations’ designed to give practical guidance on how to have a difficult conversation with someone who might be struggling at the moment.