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Lets talk Mental Health

May 29th 2018 10:05am

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According to the Health and Safety Executive, more than 31m work days were lost due to illness in 2016/171, with 12.5m of those due to stress, depression or anxiety experienced by employees.

Research has shown that construction workers are more susceptible to experiencing mental health problems, with the sector cited in the Government-commissioned independent review ‘Thrive at Work,’ as an industry in which male workers were 35% more likely to take their own lives.

Despite the facts, mental health is still an area that is taboo for many in the workplace. Stress, depression and anxiety are often overlooked and in some cases can be ignored by an employer. In an industry such as construction, it is common for workers to rarely talk about how they are feeling.

However, with increasing financial pressure on pension funds, the days of early retirements are long gone for the vast majority of people and so, as responsible employers, companies have to do everything they can to ensure people can stay ‘fitter for longer’. Not only is it in the interests of the employee, it is also in the interest of employers, as absenteeism costs companies £8 billion a year, and ‘presenteeism’ – the practice of working whilst sick – can cause productivity loss, costing up to £26 billion every year.

In light of these figures, many Construction companies across the UK are committing themselves to a more focused method of mental health awareness within the industry. Getting employees to talk about mental health is not easy, especially in the construction sector. However, recent studies found from companies that have changed their H&S approach have found that when staff are encouraged to talk openly with colleagues, in a workshop for example, they realise just how many people either suffer from issues themselves or know someone who does. By making mental health and wellbeing a priority in the workplace we are not only safeguarding the future of our employees, but also protecting the business.

Minstrell Training offers a host Mental Health Awareness courses as well as bespoke toolbox talks that can be delivered on site or at our Manchester based Training hub. For more information contact us either on 03330 230 056 / Option 3 or email: info@minstrelltraining.com

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