Mental Health Matters
Mental health is just as important as physical health. One-in-four of us will experience a mental health issue in a given year, and within the construction industry alone, 2 people die by suicide per day, a number which is higher than many other industries.
Understanding mental health and offering support within the business and in my personal life has been a long time coming, and it all stems from personal experience.
As a teenager, I was diagnosed with depression, and spent a long time lost in my mind wondering why. I had a good home life, a good family, and great friends; I thought there was no real reason for the way that I was feeling. This went on for years, masking my true feelings, and by the time I reached University, it had progressed to using alcohol. I almost lost out on my university career, and still couldn't bring myself to ask for help. These feelings and this behaviour continued for a futher few years, through to my first office job, and despite my actions effectively being a cry for help, I was offered no support.
It took a long time for me to get out of this mindset, and after getting myself to a place where I could open up about my life and emotions - and I know how difficult that first step truly is - I decided that I wanted to make myself available to be that person who those around me would be comfortable speaking with, should they need that ear.
I started to speak more candidly about my previous experiences to colleagues, friends, and family, so that they know that I may have experienced what they are feeling. I self-studied things like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to understand other methods, and I started to take note of changes in those around me, offering an ear should they want or need to talk to someone. And this has not just been for those in direct contact, I have also worked towards ensuring candidates feel that my phone line is a safe space, should they need.
After finding out about the Mental Health First Aid course, I expressed an interest in training officially in this capacity, and also take part in any similar courses that are available to me. Maldon and District CVS offered the 1-Day MHFA course, which I took last year to become a Mental Health First Aid Champion, and with The Lighthouse Charity, I have already attended their Suicide Awareness, and Managing Mental Health in the Workplace courses. Thanks to the incredible support of my director, I am now booked in to take the full 2-day MHFA course this year with The Lighthouse Charity.
Whether you’re isolated or surrounded by people, no one should have to suffer alone. If you don’t feel as though you can talk to someone close to you, The Lighthouse Charity is available to anyone, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. If you are feeling stressed, anxious or lonely - reach out to receive help, guidance and support, no problem is too large or small.
- Call 0345 605 1956 (UK) 1800 939 122 (ROI)
- Text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK) 50808 (ROI)