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Prioritising Mental Health in Advance of World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

UK commercial and industrial fit-outs and refurbishment specialist Pexhurst has been holding Mental Health Tool Box Talks across all of its live sites using professional occupational health and safety consultants, Safety Services UK. The consultants discussed mental health issues with site workers, outlined the support available to them and suggested ways in which they could look after their mental health.

Alan Bridge, Pexhurst Associate Director and trained Mental Health Champion, said: “The spotlight falls once again on the construction industry in the run up to World Suicide Prevention Day as government statistics show suicide amongst those working in skilled construction and building trades remains higher than any other occupational group in 2020.” *

“We hope to change the narrative and make mental health a priority in our business. We know everyone can be affected by mental health issues which can seem invisible because they affect a person’s psychological and emotional well-being. The Tool Box Talks encourage workers to share stories and discuss their mental health issues, which, if left unresolved, can lead to destructive behaviors like thoughts of suicide, self-harm and attempted suicide.”
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Discussions that took place during the site visits included how construction was still viewed as having a ‘macho’ culture and that the male ego stopped men in particular asking for help. Workers talked about feelings of isolation and loss of communication as a result of the pandemic. They opened up about how the pandemic impacted their families too, with the pressures associated with online teaching and fears about their children’s’ reduced social skills as a result of successive lockdowns. The cost-of-living crisis was also discussed and the increased burden it is placing on everyone.

Penny Dew, Pexhurst’s Finance Director and another of our Mental Health Champions, said: “The Mental Health Tool Box Talks ran hand in hand with our usual Health and Safety Inspections that take place frequently across all of our live sites. Health and Safety Reports are then fed back to our delivery teams so that we can improve performance across the entire business. We are dedicated to supporting our employees and ensuring mental health is a top priority alongside worker safety on our sites.”

“We will continue to encourage our workers to look after their mental health and provide them with the vital tools to do so. Talking is a valuable tool in supporting mental health and ensuring that people do not feel alone with their thoughts and fears, often we are all struggling with the same worries and concerns. It helps to voice them so that we as a business can offer support and advice, and provide guidance where it is needed the most,” she concludes.

*UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) – number of suicides for sub-major occupations, males and females aged between 20 to 64 years, deaths registered in England and Wales 2011 to 2020.

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  • Staff Reporter

    FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.
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