Sewell Group continues its drive to raise awareness about mental health and employee wellbeing, by encouraging staff to wear blue for Wear BLUE Day 2021.
This is just one of many ways Sewell pledge its support to Men’s Mental Health and wider employee wellbeing, not just for Men’s Mental Health week, but throughout the year.
In May 2020, a study by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) reported that more than 90% of construction industry professionals have experienced stress, fatigue, poor concentration, and overwhelming feelings. A quarter of which admitted to experiencing suicidal thoughts – and this was before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Professor Charles Egbu, President of The Chartered Institute of Building said: “In many industries, the social stigma around discussing mental health is fading. Unfortunately, the construction industry still has some catching up to do.
“Despite significant improvements in the safety of the construction workforce in recent years, mental health and wellbeing has become a silent crisis.”
Considering Men’s Mental Health week, businesses are urged to think about how they can provide further support and a “door always open” approach within a generally male orientated workplace.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the construction industry is made up of 82% males and 18% female, and so it is no surprise that men who are employed within male-dominated roles may be particularly vulnerable to developing poor mental health.
The CIOB report claims: “While many of the same difficulties are experienced by all genders, some difficulties and influences on mental health may be more pertinent to men.
“Societal expectations and the traditional idea of how men are expected to behave may play a role in how active men will be in talking about their mental health and seeking support.
“Typically, the view of hyper-masculinity prevents men from openly talking about their mental health.”
Sewell Construction is one arm of the business that is trying to significantly reduce – and eventually remove – the stigma surrounding this topic across its construction sites. It is proactive in its approach to supporting employees’ Mental Health within the workplace, ensuring that individuals have strong support network to approach when needed.
The construction teams often organise internal workshops through independent support groups and professionals, such as Andy’s Man Club and Dr Rachel Alexander who have been actively involved with the West Hull Health Hub development.
Dave Major, Project Manager for Sewell Construction said: “The construction industry – albeit a rewarding and unique industry to work in – can be a very challenging and pressurised environment too, resulting in poor mental health if unrecognised. A huge cultural shift is taking place within our industry to tackle these issues, but we still have a long way to go.
“The West Hull Health Hub team actively encourage their workers to participate in organised events and seminars, allowing a better understanding of how poor mental health can affect people, as well as coaching them in the most appropriate ways to assist someone suffering.
“Generic First Aid on our construction sites is not enough anymore, and so we have put further training in place to create on-site Mental Health First Aider’s too.
“Our motto for this project is “the journey starts now” which relates to the positive impact the West Hull Health Hub will have once constructed, but also refers to the wider journey we are taking as a business to ensure the wellbeing of our staff, not just when it comes to mental health awareness days, but all year round.”
£8 million is being invested into West Hull Health Hub, a new health centre which will provide state-of-the-art facilities for Modality Partnership Hull’s Primary Care Network in Hull and the East Riding, with a combined total of more than 60,000 patients across the sub-region.
Additionally, in light of National Wear BLUE day today, Sewell Group is encouraging all staff to wear blue to raise awareness and money for education about men’s need to seek regular checkups – both mentally and physically.
Alongside this, Sewell Construction ran a ‘Man MOT’ session with the aim to ensure that men are better aware of physical, mental and sextual health. The session explored how men can look after themselves, as well as helping others around them to know how to provide support when needed.