Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 (13th to 19th May) is themed around body image – how we think and feel about our bodies. At SUMO we are taking time to reflect on the importance of talking about mental health and how, within the construction industry, we could be further supporting others.
“We are all intimately aware of the particular idiosyncrasies of our own body; its strengths and wonders and its limitations. No piece of technology that you will ever buy will match the complexity, sophistication and regenerative powers of your body.
And yet… For too many of us, our bodies are sources of shame and distress” - Mark Rowland, CEO at Mental Health Foundation.
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 construction workers taking their own lives than the national average and women construction workers 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 well-being 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 24-hour 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 24-hour a day and 365 days per year.