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It’s Good To Talk About… Stuff

That’s the message from our mental health first aid team when they visit our construction sites for a Mental Health Awareness session.

Tackling preconceptions and the stigma around mental health issues are the focus for our joint briefings by Human Resources manager Olivia Lea and Health and Safety lead Darren Williams.

The pair host regular workshops with site teams, inviting subcontractors and suppliers to attend alongside Russell WBHO staff.

Darren Williams said: “It’s good to talk about stuff, this is the key message in our mental health program at Russell WBHO. Delivered jointly by the HR department and HSEQ team, we bring staff together for open and honest discussion  aimed at dispelling the stigma around talking about feelings and negative thoughts. In order to tackle the problem we have to help people to identify it in the first place. Making metal health as regular a part of the conversation as physical health is a great starting point.”

A recent talk at the super computing centre project in Daresbury was attended by all site workers.

Darren added: “It was great to get everyone together, share some lunch and chat about the stigma of mental health and how things could get better. It was interesting to get the views of the team and hear how difficult some find it to share even with their friends and co-workers. We spoke about how the Mental Health First Aiders provide a safe space for those who want to speak up but are worried about talking to a colleague or manager. The discussion provided the chance for us to promote some of the support services that are available to people.”

Olivia Lea added: “It was great to get out on to our site and discuss mental health so openly, not only with our own staff but with our sub-contractors too. Delivering refresher training on mental health really helps to get the conversation flowing again, and ensures we continue to destigmatise talking about our mental health.”

Russell WBHO is an official company sponsor of the Lighthouse Charity and the Construction Industry Helpline.

The charity helps thousands of construction workers each year who are in need of assistance, whatever form that assistance may take, from financial and relationship troubles to addiction and abuse issues, work stress and health worries.

Anyone in need of support can call the 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline on 0345 605 1956.