Nurturing good mental health in construction

Last week, James Brown and Christine Ryan became our first Mental Health First Aiders following a two-day course at Sleigh Services. They both agreed that what they learned has the potential to immediately benefit the whole team and beyond into our supply chain. Here’s Christine’s overview of the course.

“As an individual, I previously thought I was particularly mental health aware. Following my completion of the MHFA England Course however, I now feel far more competent in both my awareness and my ability to provide mental health first aid assistance to my colleagues.

The training has given new depths to my understanding of the varying levels of mental health illnesses and the impact they have on those around sufferers. My fellow MHFA James and I have been provided with tools to recognise the requirement, importance and ability to follow the basic steps of ALGEE – to approach, access, assist, listen and communicate with no judgment, give support and information, advocate for accessing professional support and encourage self-help.

As a company we plan a proactive approach to sharing this knowledge and understanding with our colleagues, delivering onsite toolbox talks and providing information both in the office and onsite. James and I will also be making ourselves available to any colleague who may look to us for support on a confidential, one-to-one basis.”

In championing our Mental Health First Aiders, we’re hoping to engender more open discussion about mental health problems in general. We hope that those who feel down or anxious will feel more able to share their problems with others and access help if needed, which is often the first and biggest stumbling block for those in our famously stoical industry. Many thanks to Christine and James for signing up to help us achieve this.

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