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Three ways and reasons why we are investing in Mental Health Awareness

A recent report highlighted that suicide rates for construction workers are 3.7 times higher than the National average and one in three people working in the construction industry have reported experiencing mental health issues. More widely, the MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) Programme reports that 60% of UK employees have experienced a mental health issue where work was a contributing factor.

The Woodhead Group have invested in a programme of activities to support employees who may be experiencing mental health issues whilst investing in activities that promotes good mental health and wellbeing. This week 13th May – 19th May is Mental Health Awareness Week, and Janine Borderick, People Development Director at the Woodhead Group, gives an insight into what the company is doing and why it’s so important.

1.       Positive Strategic Direction  

Positive mental health was brought to the fore of our attention in 2016 when we partnered with Mind, the mental health charity.  As part of this partnership we got an insight into the wide variety of work they deliver and why it was important.  Now, in 2019 we have committed as a Strategic Leadership Team to do more than ever before to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our workforce. We have a clear plan, an accountable Director and a working group which pulls on people from across the Woodhead Group to deliver our commitments to improve mental health.

This was demonstrated in January 2019, when we held our company conference focused on mental and physical health with a leading international speaker covering topics such as diet, performance chemistry and wellbeing.  The board have fully supported other regular initiatives such as “time to talk”, giving a forum for all staff to discuss their health and wellbeing.

2.       Equip our People with the Skills Needed to Support Colleagues

The right people, with the right skills.  As employers we have a responsibility to provide the right training, we teamed up with MHFA England to roll out a series of awareness sessions and accredited training.  18% of our workforce have benefited from mental health training, including Mental Health First Aider certification (MHFA).  We also offer health insurance as part of our package which includes professional cover for mental health related issues. This supports recovery, whist preventing further harm.

3.       Culture, Culture and Culture.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast and everything we do is about creating a just culture where people have the courage to talk, support each other and thrive as a team.  This has a positive effect on the experience we provide our customers, a happy and engaged workforce has a stronger sense of purpose and higher performance.

The wellbeing culture across the Woodhead Group is further enhanced by providing time to connect with colleagues at the monthly staff gathering and we are launching new activities this week, such as walking for wellness at lunch.

To find out more about MHFA visit their website: https://mhfaengland.org/