Mental health charity encourages support for actions that are more than just words
A charity which aims to raise awareness and improve mental health in the construction industry has encouraged business leaders to be “courageous” and build a culture of prevention when it comes to their individual strategies.
This week Mates in Mind is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 alongside more than 250 supporters and partners, and through them almost 200,000 workers across the UK.
The charity believes business leaders are in a good position to address mental health in the workplace and encourages them to align these conversations with their business values as part of an enduring preventative strategy.
James Rudoni, managing director of Mates in Mind, said: “We see that many business leaders across industry, and those engaging with Mates in Mind, have understood the headline message that there is a mental health issue within the workplace. But what we also see is that there is still a relative lack of understanding of how to make sense of this issue within their own workplaces, which is where we as a charity are continuing to invest a significant amount of energy.
“This challenge is across industry regardless of size. Having said that though there are some challenges faced by SMEs and within supply chains that demonstrate why a one-size-fits-all model just doesn’t work, and which we are getting to grips with, given that for example 60% of our Supporters are SMEs. Overall though, we are greatly encouraged that businesses we are talking to are open to considering how they should be addressing this issue.
“We are finding our approach, including our Think, Talk, Tackle model is resonating with our Supporters. It’s a relatively simple message that at the heart of it stresses the need to talk, but in doing so, also highlights that it is about enabling people to take action at an individual as well as at a collective level.
“However, we are finding that there are regular occasions where employers are reaching out to us for support with a crisis situation, that may be ongoing or is in the recent past. We are pleased we can play our part providing clarity in such situations, but we would encourage business leaders to be courageous if an organisation is facing up to this issue as a result of an incident, and emphasise the importance of capturing the learning. This is just as significant in helping to build towards a culture of prevention as trying to ideally avoid the situation altogether.
“This is why addressing mental health is more than just a conversation about stigma at work, it really is about busting that taboo and changing cultures. It is important that businesses celebrate the work that they are doing to address mental health this week, but we also need to remain focused on this every day.
“We are here to support any organisation regardless of at what point they may be wanting to start their conversation, and encourage them to reach out to our team.”