We’re supporting World Suicide Prevention Day today (September 10), which this year has the theme of ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.
Mental health is a big priority for our business and working together to support each other is something that we actively encourage.
Our health & safety manager, Dr Ruth Hartley, explains: “In recent months we have had more people come forward to us to talk about mental health and we’re extremely thankful that they have come to us so we can help them get the support they need.
“We do a lot of work raising awareness about mental health including educating people on the signs to look out for. A number of our people are trained mental health first aiders and we also have a dedicated phoneline that members of our team can call for support if they need it.
“We’re keen to keep the conversation going all year round, so every week, we ask our people to rate their mental health. If we see someone has low scores, we follow up with a call or an email to offer them support.
“By working together and encouraging more people to talk about it, we can help support the mental wellbeing of our people.”
In July, our work was recognised by the Water Industry Awards when we won the Health & Safety Initiative of the Year award for our Mental Health Risk Assessment Plus (MHRA+) programme. This is a wonderful accolade, but there’s still more work for us to do.
The Samaritans indicate that 6,507 people died by suicide in the UK in 2018, of those, 4,903 were men. Combining this with the fact that men working in lower skilled roles within the construction industry are nearly four times more likely to take their own lives – it’s becomes clear that keeping the conversation going around mental health is essential.
If you are struggling with your mental health, please don’t suffer in silence. There are lots of wonderful people and organisations who can offer you support.
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