Mental Health Awareness Week (14 to 20 May 2018) is about stress and how we’re coping with it. At SUMO we are taking time to reflect on the importance of talking about mental health and how as an industry we could be further supporting others.
We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – it’s part of everyday life. But when you’re overwhelmed by stress it may lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. The day-to-day demands and pressures of work should not be a barrier to good mental health and if we want to attract and retain talent to the construction industry, then the mental health of employees within our industry needs to be a priority.
'There is often a perception that if you are not stressed, you are not busy enough' and within what is a male-dominated industry, mental health issues can often be treated as a weakness. These general views across the industry have contributed to the ONS reporting 3.7 times higher rates of male workers taking their own lives than the national average and women averaging twice that of the national average.
But what can we do?
It doesn't start with one person or one organisation. It starts with us all making an effort to normalise the conversation about mental health. To promote that 'it's okay to not be okay' and that these conversations can be had with confidence.
So, what is SUMO doing to help?
We are committed to the wellbeing of all of our team and see the importance of changing the stigma attached to talking about mental health within the construction industry as a whole. Within our own business, we aim to break down any stigmas and are active users of a 24hr helpline. We understand that at times it can be difficult to balance the pressures of work with the needs of home life. What’s more, we recognise that it can be difficult to raise these issues in the workplace and this helpline service gives our team members an added outlet whenever they need it. Offering a range of support and a listening ear, it is available 24hr a day and 365 days per year.