In December 2019, Liane Power, Business Support Manager at Skilled Labour Services (Southern) Ltd, attended a 2-day Adult Mental Health first aid course. Since completing the course in December 2019, Skilled Labour Services has now put a company Mental Health policy in place.
This policy will be sent out to our existing workforce and be given to any new operatives who register with us going forward. We also plan to promote this to our clients and customers to show how seriously Skilled Labour Services are taking the mental health and well-being of our operatives.
We aim to get the message out to our male workforce that it’s OK to talk. There is no shame involved in speaking up about your feelings. We are trying to dispel that old stigma that says you’re not a real man if you cry.
It is OK to talk
We have all heard people telling men to ‘man-up’ and ‘pull yourself together’, but it actually does you no good to cover up what you are feeling. Men need to be truthful about their emotional health and concerns if they are going to be able to get them resolved.
There is an increasing number of stories hitting the headlines of men taking their own lives that on the surface had always been seen as happy and stable characters. Often they leave behind a grieving partner and young children whose lives will now be devastated.
Many men think they have to battle depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions on their own, but they don’t need to do this alone. This is why Liane at Skilled Labour Services is spearheading this move to get men’s mental health awareness recognised within the construction industry, which can often be seen as a very male-dominated industry where men are not encouraged to share their worries or mental health concerns.
The importance of speaking up
Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time of life, so this is why anyone suffering from any issues must know where to turn for support. While it is true that generally speaking, men are not usually as forthcoming as women when it comes to talking about their worries, this is an issue that we at Skilled Labour Services want to change within our own workforce and working culture.
Taking that first step towards acknowledging you need help is the hardest thing for you to do, but men need to be encouraged to speak out before their mental health issues escalate and start to affect their home life, relationships, work-life and more.
What Skilled Labour Services is doing
Since completing the Adult Mental Health course, Liane has been very proactive with helping Skilled Labour Services to create and implement not only a company mental health policy, but she has also created a report focusing on Mental Health in the Construction Industry that Skilled Labour Services will be using as a handout when they attend networking events with new customers and clients.
These positive moves towards helping to raise men’s mental health awareness in the workplace are helping to help demonstrate our commitment to mental issue in the construction industry.
While at the time of writing there is still lots of work to be done in regards to implementing our Mental Health strategy, looking ahead to the next 12 months, Liane is aiming to possibly introduce:
- Wellness weeks (x2 a year Spring/Summer-Autumn Winter)
- Posting regular content on our social media platform highlighting how important Mental Health is and how to identify and manage it
Getting the help you need
Liane is also aiming to shine a spotlight on a range of help and services that are open to men seeking support, as well as further encouraging the men on our team to not fear speaking out when they need help.
There is some fantastic support available that can help make a start of turning things around for you, but first of all, we aim to encourage the men in our workforce to take that first step and reach out when they need to.
Skilled Labour Services’ commitment for 2020
This year Skilled Labour Services is taking an important step towards improving the mental health of our workforce as well as other men working in the construction industry. What we aim to do this year is to break down what is often a taboo subject for men, especially in what is still such a male-dominated industry.
We are taking proactive steps to help establish, promote and sustain the mental health and well-being of all of our staff through our carefully planned workplace practices. We also want to further encourage our staff to take responsibility for their own mental health and well-being.
Skilled Labour Services believes that the mental health and well-being of our staff is key to organisational success and sustainability.