Considerate Constructors Scheme
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mental health

Spotlight on… mental health aims to raise awareness of how mental health can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity and can cause both personal and work-related stress, anxiety and depression...

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The campaign

‘Spotlight on… mental health’ aims to raise awareness of how mental health can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity and can cause both personal and work-related stress, anxiety and depression.

The World Health Organisation defines ‘mental health’ as “a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and are able to make a contribution to their community.”

The workforce is any organisation’s biggest asset, so it is important to look after your team’s wellbeing as poor mental health can result in low morale, poor timekeeping, lack of motivation, poor productivity and decision making. Employees who suffer from work-related stress may also suffer from anxiety, depression, increased illness and absence from work.

This is an issue which can have a considerable impact on the industry, with pressures such as the stress and demands to meet project deadlines and the risks involved in completing jobs quickly, increasing the likelihood of mental health issues. A Construction Manager article from 2012 advised that “the image of the tough male who doesn’t show emotion is certainly a factor, with one third of men saying they would be embarrassed to see a GP for feelings of depression. It can be incredibly hard for men in this industry to come forward and discuss stress and mental health with their boss.”

Work related stress can not only have an impact upon work performance and personal lives, but also impact people physically through poor health including high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and increased risk of heart attack as well as result in drug and alcohol abuse. In the construction industry, this work-related stress can often develop from heavy workloads, long working hours, travel, family separation, fear of redundancy and job insecurity, financial and budgeting pressures, tight deadlines and high risk activities. All of these issues affecting the construction industry can potentially lead to poor mental health.

It is important for employers to recognise the problem and support their employees in offering guidance, raising awareness and ensuring that people do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help.

Facts and figures

The Good Day at Work Annual Report for 2014/2015 focuses on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The report discovered that:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any year – poor mental health affects anyone
  • 9 out of 10 people who experience mental health problems say they face stigma and discrimination as a result
  • Stigma is a huge challenge in the workplace; 40% of employers view workers with mental health problems as a ‘significant risk’
  • 8 in 10 employers have no mental health policy
  • Stress has forced 1 in 5 workers to call in sick; 90% did not feel able to tell their boss the real reason why 

HSE statistics for 2012-13 established that 428,000 out of 1.8m new work-related illness conditions in the UK were down to stress, anxiety or depression and that the average amount of days lost per year due to mental health was 24 days across all industries.

 

 

Law and legislation

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Law and legislation

Mental health is often included as part of the larger topic of health and safety at work, which is covered under legislation...

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External resources

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External resources

There are a number of mental health related campaigns currently running in the UK, each one designed to raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health and what can be done to offer support and help to those affected...

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Examples of best practice

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Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing best practice with the industry. Please find a number of best practice initiatives that have been witnessed by the Scheme's Monitors on their site visits which are related to mental health...

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Case studies

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Case studies

The industry is increasingly widening its approach to raise its apprentice population in order to attract the next generation. Please find a number of examples, case studies and sources of information that are better safeguarding the workforce...

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What can you do?

As it has previously been identified, mental health is an issue that affects everyone and thus demands attention. Awareness of the issues contributing to and associated with mental health is vital in proactively supporting your workforce.

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees at work, which includes assessing and minimising the risk of stress-related illness or injury.

  1. Sites should be proactive in educating and informing those who work on site, so that everyone understands mental health and stigmas can be challenged and removed.

    This can be achieved through simple measures including regular toolbox talks, an open door policy, supportive literature, visits arranged to site by a nurse or employee wellbeing advisor or talks given by organisations such as Mind or Calm.

  1. Sites should include the topic of mental health in all site inductions and raise awareness of mental health when gathering medical details from the workforce.

    Whether people are working on site or in an office environment, there needs to be a clear message communicated to the workforce. Managers should remove the stigma associated with mental health by making mental health in the workplace equally as important as physical wellbeing.

  1. Site managers should create a culture where anyone affected by mental health is able to come forward, know they will be taken seriously and that appropriate support and advice will be available.

    Management need to lead by example and take a proactive approach to interact with their workforce and must not be afraid to speak to someone who is displaying signs of distress, making themselves as available and approachable as possible. This will enable managers to spot potential problems and to effectively support staff members.

As well as the information above, it is also advised to use the resources provided in the ‘External resources’ section of this campaign, which offers a plentiful amount of resources from other organisations and companies that cover the full spectrum of the topic.

In the long term, the construction industry as a whole should be aiming to acknowledge and address mental health problems. A culture of openness, through raising awareness of the issues, should be created and mental health should become a prevalent topic within the construction industry.

A heavy focus is required from the industry to identify ways in which it can help to alleviate the issue of mental health. The industry has put forward a support system for construction workers through the Construction Industry Helpline, who the Considerate Constructors Scheme has proudly partnered with.

The helpline will support construction workers with stress, depression and anxiety issues, providing a ‘go to’ place for construction worker issues outside any employee assistance scheme, available to all within the industry, especially small and medium sized companies that don’t have the resources to support in-house initiatives.

To find out more about the Construction Industry Helpline, click here.

However, though the Scheme has been able to identify a number of resources and support services available to the industry regarding mental health, it is clear that this is still often seen as a taboo issue. If the industry is to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health, further awareness, guidance and support will certainly be of great benefit and very much welcomed.

The Scheme will continue to update this page as new examples and case studies of how the industry is tackling this issue are identified. If you would like to share how your company is addressing mental health, please contact the Scheme by emailing enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk 
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Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing best practice with the industry. Below are a number of best practice initiatives that have been witnessed by the Scheme’s Monitors on their site visits which are related to mental health:

NHS mental health services

Published 15 August 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Stress
CategoriesMental health Stress

The National Health Service offers mental health support for those struggling with conditions such as depression and anxiety. The NHS’s dedicated mental health page directs to mental health services available in your area. It also provides advice on specific conditions and on issues that can contribute to mental ill health, such as bereavement and financial worries. For urgent but not…

Emojional feelings welcome board

Published 1 August 2017 | No comments
Written by Sean Kelly
Categories Mental health Occupational health risks Open door policy Stress
CategoriesMental health Occupational health risks Open door policy Stress

At Wandsworth Riverside Quarter we’ve designed our very own ‘Emojional’ welcome board for all operatives & visitors to see upon arrival to site. As part of our ‘open door policy’ we want to encourage positive communication between site management & our operatives on site. We believe that the use of Emojis is very positive and very up to date with…

“Clearly Wellness” scheme used to promote a healthy lifestyle

Published 26 June 2017 | No comments
Written by Jeremy Bayliss
Categories Healthy lifestyle advice Mental health Stress
CategoriesHealthy lifestyle advice Mental health Stress

“Clearly Wellness” is a scheme to promote living a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, healthy diet and mental well being. Each week we would complete a questionnaire, in confidence asking the following questions: Age Weight Fat percentage Blood pressure Resting heart rate Average Bed time and Wake time From 1-10 how would you assess your stress levels at work (1 being…

Beating the mental health stigma

Published 12 May 2017 | No comments
Written by Fiona Power
Categories Mental health Stress Worker fatigue
CategoriesMental health Stress Worker fatigue

The project has identified mental health as a key focus for 2017. To kick off the year in a positive light, presentations on mental health awareness were delivered to the workforce as part of our safe start following the Christmas period. The presentation reiterated how to identify the symptoms of stress and fatigue and how to foster positive mental health. Following…

‘Time to talk’ sessions

Published 27 April 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Counselling services Mental health Stress
CategoriesCounselling services Mental health Stress

Mental health is a vital issue in the construction industry. Considerate employers who value their workforce will prioritise mental wellbeing alongside physical health. See the examples below for how one site achieved this: Introduced weekly ‘time to talk’ sessions, with a psychologist visiting the site once a week. Operatives were encouraged to discuss mental health and any stress-related issues with…

Mental health at work matters

Published 28 March 2017 | No comments
Written by Jeremy Bayliss
Categories Inclusion Mental health Open door policy
CategoriesInclusion Mental health Open door policy

We have started a new campaign at Clearly Renovations to break the taboo of not talking about mental health and its effect on people’s lives. 1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness and suicide is still the single biggest cause of death for men under 45. Sadly, there is still some stigma around this health issue; many suffer…

Spotlight on… campaign posters

Published 17 March 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Alcohol testing Campaigns Diversity Drugs and alcohol policy Illegal workers Mental health Occupational health risks Posters Scheme posters/banners Workforce information
CategoriesAlcohol testing Campaigns Diversity Drugs and alcohol policy Illegal workers Mental health Occupational health risks Posters Scheme posters/banners Workforce information

Spotlight on… posters have been designed for general display in and around site welfare facilities. The Scheme is currently developing a collection of A3 posters from the series of ‘Spotlight on… ‘ awareness campaigns. This resource has proven valuable for display on site and raising awareness amongst the workforce and visitors.  

The Sides of March

Published 27 February 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Medical conditions Mental health Stress
CategoriesMedical conditions Mental health Stress

The Sides of March is a month-long charity event organised by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). The event encourages men to grow their sideburns to raise money for CALM, and raise awareness of their efforts to prevent male suicide. Suicide is the single biggest killer of British men under the age of 45, with men accounting for 75% of…

Mental Health – CALM

Published 22 February 2017 | No comments
Written by Michaela Horner
Categories Charities/organisations Medical conditions Mental health Stress
CategoriesCharities/organisations Medical conditions Mental health Stress

My name is Michaela Horner and I work for Wates Construction and have been asked to share my story. In October 2015 sadly my older brother (45 years of age) took his own life. He suffered with depression for 20 years. He had a good job in banking, 2 children, a partner of 20 years and a lovely home. We lost…

Mind Matters campaign

Published 6 February 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Stress
CategoriesMental health Stress

Construction News have launched their ‘Mind Matters’ campaign, coinciding with the launch of the Mates in Mind initiative. The campaign aims to raise awareness of mental health issues in the industry, and combat the stigma surrounding talking about problems with stress, anxiety and depression. Using their reach in the industry, Construction News intends to lobby leaders and professionals to take mental health seriously. This will be achieved…

Mates in Mind

Published 12 January 2017 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Stress
CategoriesMental health Stress

Mates in Mind is a programme launched by the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) with the support of the British Safety Council. It is a sector-wide programme intended to help improve and promote positive mental health across the construction industry in the UK. The aim of the programme is to provide a consistent approach for the industry to understand…

Mental health recognition and training

Published 30 August 2016 | No comments
Written by Dan Harmer
Categories Counselling services Management attitudes Medical conditions Mental health Open door policy Recognition Stress Training
CategoriesCounselling services Management attitudes Medical conditions Mental health Open door policy Recognition Stress Training

Recently some of the Interserve West Mids site management have undertaken basic online training courses to better understand and appreciate the issues, manifested symptoms and impacts of mental health issues such as depression and burnout. We all work in a high pressure, success driven environment and it is very easy for the workforce to push themselves to the limit. I…

Promoting World Suicide Prevention Day

Published 15 August 2016 | No comments
Written by Gabriel Square Project
Categories Mental health Open door policy Posters Stress
CategoriesMental health Open door policy Posters Stress

Gabriel Square is promoting the ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’, which will take place on 10th September 2016, by supporting the Construction Industry Helpline and making the workforce aware of it. We have introduced a ‘Mental Health’ Board in our canteen, displaying posters and information for everyone to see and read. These are available to all workforce. We have also added…

Managing stress

Published 12 July 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Counselling services Medical conditions Mental health Stress Worker fatigue
CategoriesCounselling services Medical conditions Mental health Stress Worker fatigue

Stress in the workplace can be a sign of an individual suffering from mental health issues. Work related stress is common in the construction industry due to the high intensity and high risk nature of the working environment. It is therefore important for the individual to maintain a healthy awareness of not only themselves, but also their colleagues around them….

Spotlight on… campaign flyers

Published 22 June 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Alcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety Diversity Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Posters
CategoriesAlcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety Diversity Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Posters

The Spotlight on… flyers have been designed for general display in and around site welfare facilities. The Scheme provides a collection of A5 flyers from both past and current ‘Spotlight on… ‘ awareness campaigns. Each unique flyer contains information on the industry issue and advice on how to tackle it. This resource has proven valuable for display on site and raising awareness…

Mental Health Awareness Week

Published 17 May 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Open door policy
CategoriesMental health Open door policy

Mental Health Awareness Week is coordinated annually by the Mental Health Foundation. The week helps to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues, with the 2017 theme being “Survive to thrive“. The idea is to help prompt a national conversation about what we can do as communities, schools, families and individuals to move from survive to thrive. To support Mental Health Awareness Week on…

Tackling addiction

Published 1 April 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Consultation Medical conditions Mental health Stress
CategoriesConsultation Medical conditions Mental health Stress

Caring for the wellbeing and safety of your employees is crucial in maintaining a happy, healthy workforce and industry image. The focus on health and safety is continuous and can always be enhanced on a construction site. However there are aspects of maintaining a healthy wellbeing that can’t always be noticeably seen and can easily go unnoticed, such as an addiction….

Mental Health Awareness – sponsored abseil

Published 30 March 2016 | No comments
Written by London City Island
Categories Charities/organisations Goodwill Mental health Support Workforce
CategoriesCharities/organisations Goodwill Mental health Support Workforce

In November 2015, Ballymore organised a sponsored abseil down one of the blocks on the London City Island development, near to Canning Town. The fundraiser was to raise money for local charity MIND in Tower Hamlets and Newham to aid them in their continued support for the local community. We also used this as an opportunity to create more awareness…

Mental Health Awareness – Mental Health First Aiders on site

Published 29 March 2016 | No comments
Written by London City Island
Categories Counselling services Mental health Open door policy Posters Stress
CategoriesCounselling services Mental health Open door policy Posters Stress

Following the great success Ballymore had with our charity abseil fundraiser for local mental health charity MIND, we decided to implement further measures to continue raising awareness for mental health issues on site. After discussions and a couple of workshops with representatives from MIND, three mental health first aiders were appointed. These mental health first aiders were put in place…

Monitoring stress levels of the workforce

Published 2 November 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Stress Worker fatigue
CategoriesStress Worker fatigue

Work-related stress is commonplace within the construction industry. This has a number of knock-on effects, including, high blood pressure, low morale, poor decision making and can lead to mental health problems such as depression. For these reasons, it is important that managers interact with their workforce and are aware of any signs that employees may be suffering from work-related stress. Below is a method…

The Movember Foundation

Published 2 November 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Medications Posters
CategoriesMedications Posters

Too many men do not communicate or take action when it comes to their personal health. The Movember Foundation is a global charity which aims to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. They are dedicated to raising awareness and helping men live longer, healthier and happier lives through investing in four key areas: Prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical…

The Royal Mail Group’s efforts to support their workforce’s health and wellbeing

Published 19 October 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Benefits
CategoriesBenefits

As an employer it is important to ensure that the appropriate facilities and resources are available to effectively support your workforce. The construction industry may be able to learn from and share best practice with other industries. The Royal Mail Group have identified the benefits of workplace wellbeing. To support their employees, the following measures have been implemented: Positive HR…

Supporting the workforce: health wall

Published 31 July 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Medical conditions Posters
CategoriesMedical conditions Posters

It is vitally important to support the health and wellbeing of the workforce. Sites should seek to provide advice and guidance to their workforce, to appropriately support employees. Below is an example of how sites have considered the wellbeing of their staff: A ‘health wall’ was introduced with posters and leaflets available for guidance on various health issues; The topic of mental…

‘Building Healthier’ at Simons Group

Published 28 July 2015 | No comments
Written by
Categories Healthy lifestyle advice Recognition Reward
CategoriesHealthy lifestyle advice Recognition Reward

It has been widely recognised that having physically healthy employees, helps to maintain a mentally healthy workforce. Simons fully engages with this ideal and goes above and beyond to address this. The traditional view of having the right tools and products in place to support employees’ health (Occupational Health, Private Health & Employee Assistance), are combined with inspiring a ‘healthy…

Proactively supporting your workforce: Trauma Risk Management

Published 1 July 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Management attitudes Occupational health risks Stress
CategoriesManagement attitudes Occupational health risks Stress

Work-related stress effects a significant number of people within the construction industry. It is important that site managers take a proactive approach to tackle this issue and provide appropriate support for staff. Below is an example of how sites can support the workforce: Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) is a trauma focused peer support system, which builds resilience by basing itself on keeping…

Using operatives personal experiences to support your workforce with mental health issues

Published 17 June 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Medical conditions Mental health
CategoriesMedical conditions Mental health

Mental health issues and concerns are just as important as physical health problems, but can be overlooked. It is vitally important that the workforce has sufficient support and advice, should they need it. Below is an example of how you could raise awareness and offer support relating to mental health: One member of the site team voluntarily put together a case study…

Holding a mental health week across all sites

Published 16 June 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Medical conditions Mental health Occupational health risks Stress
CategoriesMedical conditions Mental health Occupational health risks Stress

Mental health issues and concerns can often be difficult to address. Mental health and stress can have a negative impact on individuals lives and wellbeing as well as leading to physical health problems. It is important that the issues surrounding mental health are addressed in the workplace, with sufficient support and advice available. Below is an example of how company’s can address…

Mind offers mental health training, consultancy and coaching

Published 8 May 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Medical conditions Mental health Stress Training
CategoriesMedical conditions Mental health Stress Training

It is important to promote mental wellbeing in your organisation, to encourage a positive, healthy and productive workplace culture. A number of sites have achieved this by putting employees forward to take part in Mind’s mental health training, consultancy and coaching. The main aims of this training include: Helping to reduce absenteeism in the workplace; Encouraging a positive, healthy and…

Presentations from medical professionals on mental health issues

Published 6 May 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Behaviour Mental health
CategoriesBehaviour Mental health

It is important to provide an environment which openly discusses issues surrounding mental health, to dispel any associated stigmas.   Sites should work to support all members of staff and raise awareness of mental health issues. Below is an example of how a site has utilised the hospital environment they were working in, to better inform the workforce of the…

Time to Talk Day

Published 17 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Open door policy Stress
CategoriesMental health Open door policy Stress

Time to Talk Day is coordinated annually by Time to Change. The week is all about preventing people being too afraid to talk about their mental health, because they fear it will affect their jobs or relationships. To support Time to Talk Day on your site, you could do the following: Display notices to promote awareness of stress; Make posters and leaflets from organisations…

World Mental Health Day

Published 16 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Open door policy
CategoriesMental health Open door policy

World Mental Health Day promotes mental health education, awareness and advocacy. This day will be focusing on mental health in the workplace. To support World Mental Health Day on your site, you could do the following: Read the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Spotlight on… mental health campaign which includes case studies of how sites have raised awareness of mental health amongst the workforce;…

World Suicide Prevention Day

Published 16 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Open door policy
CategoriesMental health Open door policy

World Suicide Prevention Day is coordinated annually by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The week is all about taking action to raise awareness of suicide prevention. To support World Suicide Prevention Day on your site you could do the following: Read the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Spotlight on…mental health for information about how other companies are effectively approaching mental…

National Stress Awareness Day

Published 16 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Open door policy Stress
CategoriesMental health Open door policy Stress

National Stress Awareness Day is coordinated annually by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). The day is focused on reducing stress and enhancing wellbeing and performance at work. To support National Stress Awareness Day on your site, you could do the following: Provide an open door policy and supportive work environment; Make sure all your operatives are aware of any support that is…

Movember

Published 16 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Charities/organisations Mental health Toolbox Talk
CategoriesCharities/organisations Mental health Toolbox Talk

Movember is the No.1 leading global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health. The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during November, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. To support Movember on your site, you could do the following: Encourage operatives on your site…

Offering a free and confidential helpline to support the needs of the workforce

Published 1 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Bullying Feedback Financial advice Mental health
CategoriesBullying Feedback Financial advice Mental health

Appropriate measures should be implemented to effectively support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of your workforce.  A platform to enable staff to voice their concerns and problems should be provided, to ensure employees feel valued and supported. Below is an example of how sites can implement measures to support their workforce: The company had its own free helpline to support…

Identifying stress in the workplace

Published 17 February 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Occupational health risks Stress
CategoriesMental health Occupational health risks Stress

Work-related stress is commonplace within the construction industry. Work-related stress has a number of knock-on effects, including, high blood pressure, low morale, poor decision making and can lead to mental health problems such as depression. For these reasons, it is important that managers interact with their workforce and are vigilant to any signs that employees may be suffering from work-related stress. Below…

The Lighthouse Club – The construction industry charity

Published 5 January 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Charities/organisations Financial advice Mental health Stress
CategoriesCharities/organisations Financial advice Mental health Stress

The construction industry should be supportive to all those who work within it. Many issues can be dealt with on site, but sometimes more specialist help and support is need. The Lighthouse Club, which is a construction industry charity, can assist the workforce and their families in times of hardship and stress by providing the following: Emergency financial assistance; Welfare…

Construction Industry Helpline

Published 5 January 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Counselling services Financial advice Mental health Stress
CategoriesCounselling services Financial advice Mental health Stress

The Construction Industry Helpline provides support and advice on a range of topics from occupational health and wellbeing, to financial aid in times of hardship caused by accident, illness, injury or bereavement. The Construction Industry Helpline is funded and supported by businesses and people in the construction industry, for the benefit of the people in our industry. This helpline provides the…

Occupational health related toolbox talks

Published 13 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Mental health Toolbox Talk
CategoriesMental health Toolbox Talk

Toolbox talks are a great way of engaging with the workforce and delivering talks on relevant occupational health topics. Examples of how toolbox talks have been used on site include: A toolbox talk was arranged, covering mental health at work and construction workplace stress; NHS information was downloaded and used to illustrate occupational health topics, which were delivered through toolbox talks; The workforce…

Mental health first aid

Published 12 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Counselling services Medical conditions Mental health Stress
CategoriesCounselling services Medical conditions Mental health Stress

Mental health issues and concerns are just as important as physical health problems. It is vitally important that the workforce have sufficient support and advice should they need it. Examples of how sites have dealt with potential mental health issues amongst their operatives include: Twenty first-aiders were further trained as mental health counsellors, able to support everything from everyday worries to depression;…

Training and updates regarding occupational health

Published 30 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Counselling services Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Stress
CategoriesCounselling services Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Stress

Occupational health issues should be addressed by site management. Operatives should be made to feel supported and cared for in regard to their mental and physical health. Examples of training and updates provided for occupational health include: Many smaller sites have arranged for visits by a mobile unit, to carry out general and specific occupational health related screening; Occupational health facilities…

Health advice for operatives

Published 30 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Healthy lifestyle advice Site specific induction
CategoriesHealthy lifestyle advice Site specific induction

Health risks should be identified and advice provided to operatives whenever possible. Examples of how site managers have provided health advice to their workforce include: A ‘Wellman pack’ was issued to all operatives giving information and help-line numbers for various health, social, domestic and safety issues; Advice leaflets, on relevant health conditions, as well as a card, dealing with abusive…

Mind safety campaign

Published 30 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Campaigns Mental health
CategoriesCampaigns Mental health

Constructors should constantly seek new methods to ensure operatives safety.   Construction sites can pose personal safety risks to operatives, visitors and the public, therefore it is vital that constructors should aim to obtain the highest level of safety performance. On-site safety plans and procedures should be regularly updated and effectively communicated to operatives to ensure good practice, whilst demonstrating the site’s social awareness and…

Awareness of stress, depression and bullying

Published 28 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Bullying Charities/organisations Harassment Inappropriate language Mental health Stress
CategoriesBullying Charities/organisations Harassment Inappropriate language Mental health Stress

Equality and diversity policies should include references to discrimination, harassment and bullying. Awareness of these issues should also be raised during site induction, toolbox talks and posters displayed in offices, canteen or rest areas. Training and toolbox talks are effective in helping people understand how using inappropriate and offensive language can impact others and cause distress. To tackle these issues,…

Close case studies

Case studies

The industry is increasingly widening its approach to raise its apprentice population in order to attract the next generation. See below for examples, case studies and sources of information that are better safeguarding the workforce:

A-one+ have recognised the stigmas associated with mental health and have embarked upon a number of initiatives. These include dedicating a day to raise awareness of mental health, delivering presentations on stress management and training members of staff on the realities of mental health and how to support employees. Click here to find out more. 
Bouygues UK  have supported their workforce and tackled the issue of work related stress by displaying posters providing stress related tips and offering wellbeing helplines. Click here to read more. 
Galliford Try have ‘Mental Health’ awareness as a key focus for the workforce, using AXA Insurance literature and posters on the importance of recognising and dealing with mental health. These posters and literature are shared in offices, online and with the site teams and workforce, ensuring easily accessible advice to all employees. There are a number of posters available for distribution across sites, including ‘Making time for relaxation and ‘Easing your worries.
ISG have demonstrated their commitment to supporting the workforce, by establishing a number of initiatives addressing mental health and wellbeing. These initiatives include a variety of resources such as posters, fact sheets and videos. Click here to find out more.
Jehu Group Ltd have worked closely with Mind to deliver talks about mental health, raise awareness and take part in a team triathlon to raise money for the Mind charity in Wales. Click here to read more.
Marks & Spencer have used their award winning employee wellbeing programme as a platform to start a company-wide conversation around mental health and drive greater awareness to employees of the services and tools M&S have developed to support them at work. Click here for more information. 
Simons Group have used various initiatives and activities to try to remove the stigma of mental health and support their workforce. These include raising awareness through participating in Mental Health Day, the launch of their ‘Green card’ scheme and conducting an external employee effectiveness survey. Click here for more information. 
Close law and legislation

Law and legislation

Mental health is often included as part of the larger topic of health and safety at work, which is covered under legislation:

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

This regulation requires employers to assess work related risks, including stress. The regulations also state that employers should undertake risk assessments for all employees and take steps to prevent health and safety risks and continuously monitor health and wellbeing. Find out more here.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The act ensures employers responsible for the wellbeing of their workforce and places a duty of care on employers to take measures to control risks. This act also considers the health of employees returning to work after an illness or length of absence, to ensure that employees’ health is not made worse by the work environment. Find out more here.

Mental Health Act 2007

Amended the Mental Health Act 1983, setting out the legal framework for diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. This includes the process for ‘sectioning’ and broadening the range of mental health professionals. Find out more here.

The Equality Act 2010 

This act legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in the wider society through its aim to promote equal rights for everyone. Mental health is often not considered a disability, but if the condition has a serious impact on an individual’s day to day life over a long period, then it may be considered so under this law. Find out more here.

Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013

The Act revised barriers on certain activities for people with a history of mental illness. Before this law, people who had been sectioned for over six months could not serve as a Member of Parliament. Find out more here.

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External resources

There are a number of mental health related campaigns currently running in the UK, each one designed to raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health and what can be done to offer support and help to those affected:

  • The charity Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing mental health problems, and raise awareness and promote understanding to the wider community.
  • Rethink Mental Illness provides expert, accredited advice and information to everyone affected by mental health problems.
  • Mind and Rethink Mental Illness have partnered to deliver Time to Change, England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
  • Time to Change Wales campaigns to improve knowledge and understanding about mental illness and, most importantly of all, get people talking about mental health.
  • The Prince’s Trust provides vulnerable young people with practical and financial support, as well as helping to develop self-esteem and skills for work. The Prince’s Trust also has a Youth Index, which includes reports covering the issue of anxiety.
  • The SANE charity has a Black Dog Campaign which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourages people to seek help early.
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) represent the interests of individuals and organisations concerned with employee assistance, psychological health and wellbeing in the UK. EAP is designed to assist productivity and attendance issues and support employees to identify and resolve personal concerns, which could affect work performance.
  • National charity Together works alongside people with mental health issues, providing support, services and representation within the community.
  • Mental Health Awareness Week took place between the 11- 17th May 2015. The aim of this week was to educate the public and promote better mental health. It is campaigning to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health, and develop better mental health services.
  • The Scottish Association for Mental Health SAMH is Scotland’s leading mental health charity. SAMH engages in community based services for people with mental health problems, as well as participating in national programmes, policies, campaigning work and raising funds.
  • Mental Health Ireland is a national voluntary organisation which was established as the Mental Health Association of Ireland to provide support, information, research, courses and campaigns relating to mental health issues.
  • The Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide.
  • The British Health Foundation’s Health at Work programme promotes health and wellbeing in the workplace and provides advice, support, information and resources to help companies to get workplace health programmes up and running. Whilst these mainly focus on physical health, the programmes also address coping with stress in healthy ways and offer techniques to improve mental wellbeing.
  • The Department of Health, as part of their ‘Public Health Responsibility Deal’, have created a Health at Work Network to actively support workers to lead healthier lives and improve health and wellbeing. They also pledge to help create environments where everyone is valued and respected and mental health awareness is increased and supported.
  • Schemes such as The Healthy Working Lives Awards, part of NHS Health Scotland, are designed to better inform managers on mental health issues, as well as to encourage and aid employers to integrate well-being activities and policies into existing structures.
  • The Movember Foundation runs awareness and fundraising activities all year round, with the annual Movember campaign in November being globally recognised for its fun and innovative approach to raising money and getting men to take action for their health. The foundation has made available resources about how to get involved, their impact strategy and the Movember rules.
  • Business in the Community provides an extensive report on mental health at work, covering the role of management and how to respond to employees. To read the report click here.
  • The Office for National Statistics released a report on suicides by occupation in England between 2011 and 2015. The shocking statistics reveal that construction jobs have the highest risk of suicide, with suicide rates among low-skilled construction workers 3.7 times higher than the national average. This report demonstrates the scale of the problem facing the industry. To read the report, click here.
  • The National Health Service offers mental health services. For urgent but not life-threatening situations, call 111. In an emergency, call 999. Access the NHS mental health resource page here.

What is currently being done in the industry?

There are various organisations offering specific guidance to the industry in relation to dealing with mental health in the workplace.

  • The Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice consists of five sections, one of which, ‘Value their Workforce’, pays particular attention to how a registered site, company or supplier considers the health and wellbeing of their workforce, as well as focusing on equality and diversity.
  • The Lighthouse Club provides emergency financial assistance, welfare and wellbeing advice, and emotional and legal support to the construction industry workforce and their families in times of hardship and stress.
  • The Scheme has proudly partnered with the Construction Industry Helpline, which delivers a range of charitable services and support covering safety, occupational health, welfare and financial aid to help people in construction through difficult times, funded by The Lighthouse Club and through purchasing wristbands and posters from the Scheme. The helpline can be contacted 24/7 on a confidential number and is available to anyone working in the industry and their families.
  • Mates in Mind is a charitable programme to promote positive mental health in the construction industry. Established by the Health in Construction Leadership Group and the British Safety Council, the initiative provides resources and training on the issue of mental health. Mates in Mind aims to reach 75% of the construction workforce by 2025.
  • The HSE website includes a section on Management Standards for work related stress. These include six key areas of work, that if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and wellbeing, lower productivity and increased sickness absence which have been identified as the primary sources of stress at work.
  • The CITB Toolbox Talks have been created to provide help and guidance for employers to train their staff in different aspects of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect. The Fairness, Inclusion and Respect – Health, Work and Wellbeing toolbox talk in particular is tailored for mental health issues.
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