World Mental Health Day
Mental health affects us all. With one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health issue at some point in their lives, we will all either experience the difficulties of struggling with poor mental health first hand or support our loved ones through it. With a study from the Glasgow Caledonian University finding that those in the construction industry are three times more likely to take their own lives than those in other sectors, with a similar risk for operational professions such as cleaners and porters, Bouygues Energies and Services (Bouygues E&S) advocates its support for mental health services across the UK and within our business.
Caring for our employees’ physical and mental wellbeing is a top priority at Bouygues E&S. We are committed to providing the very best working environment for our employees through a progressive, ‘people-first’ approach. Raising awareness of mental health through training is a crucial first step to this, destigmatizing mental illness and widening the network of support available to those who are struggling. Alongside multiple e-learnings, we partnered with Mental Health England to train Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA), colleagues who are equipped with the skills to identify the symptoms of poor mental health and to support their fellow team members. Since our partnership began in 2017, our organisation has now successfully trained over 150 MHFA who are on hand to support in moments of difficulty.
In addition to raising awareness, we are committed to creating a culture where wellness is front of mind for every employee. Our Employee Assistance Programme takes a progressively holistic approach to wellbeing. Alongside nutritional and exercise support, the option to access counselling services and financial and legal advice puts the importance of mental health front and centre. Available to all employees, Bouygues E&S is proud to offer this 360 support anonymously and without charge.
Linda Whitaker, HR Administrator at Bouygues E&S, is a vigorous advocate of mental health support and was instrumental in forging the partnership between Bouygues E&S and Mental Health England. This World Mental Health Day, she shared words to anybody who may be experiencing mental health difficulties:
“Following COVID-19 lockdowns, bereavements & now financial worries with the cost-of-living crisis, many of us are struggling with our mental health, whether that be anxiety, stress, or depression. We can all help each other by watching for subtle changes in our work colleagues such as a change of mood, behaviour, appearance, or work performance. These can all highlight that they may be starting to struggle. We need to all talk to one another: just offer to share a tea or coffee and ask if everything is ok. We all have the gift of listening and it is my firm belief nobody should be more than one conversation away from help.”
A problem shared is a problem halved! If you are struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to speak up about your worries.
Helplines you can reach out to:
The Lighthouse construction industry helpline: can be called for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0345 605 1956 in the UK, or 1800 939 122 in the Republic of Ireland.
Samaritans helpline: can be called for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123 in the UK.
Shout helpline: It is free to text Shout 85258 from all major mobile networks in the UK, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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