18 May Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
The 15th to 21st May marks this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that skilled construction and building trades represent the highest suicide numbers by occupation in England.
As a business firmly embedded in the construction industry, we understand how important it is to use Mental Health Awareness Week as an opportunity to talk about mental health with those around us, to offer advice on getting support for mental health concerns, and to showcase wellbeing initiatives that can be put in place to promote good mental health and positive wellbeing – helping people to avoid reaching a mental health crisis.
At WWA, we understand the value of achieving a rewarding work-life balance and the positive impact good wellbeing and health, both physical and mental, has on our staff. Our people are our greatest asset and ensuring we look after them is a top priority for us. The measures we implement can help to reduce the impact of mental health concerns on the people we work with.
Some of the initiatives we’ve introduced include:
- Community-based Volunteering – including working in partnership with Surfers Against Sewage ‘Ocean Network’ for office beach, river and canal cleans.
- Organisation of cross-business social and healthy activities to support team morale and individual wellbeing.
- Launch of the WWA Hybrid working Model.
Through flexible working, assuring employees are able to work more autonomously in an open culture, and encouraging breaks and good physical health, we provide the working conditions to promote positive wellbeing in our teams.
Several staff are trained as Mental Health First Aiders, and everyone at WWA has free access to wellbeing support from Fay Dutfield-Horton, a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, empowerment and wellbeing coach.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is anxiety. Anxiety can be experienced by anyone, at any time, for a variety of reasons, it is a normal emotion. Left unchecked it can develop into something that can cause us to change our normal behaviour and can be a mental health issue if anxiety becomes unmanageable.
Talking about anxiety, Fay said: “Anxiety is a very normal body response which can create feelings of unease, such as worry or fear. Anxiety can be mild or severe and affects everybody in many different ways.
“Allowing yourself to become aware of your own anxiety and possible responses will promote a healthy way of you managing you.”
If you or someone you know needs support the Mental Health Foundation has advice, toolkits and guidance https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/public-engagement/mental-health-awareness-week and Mates in Mind is a UK charity addressing the stigma of poor mental health in construction and other sectors https://www.matesinmind.org/