Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

One of VGC’s core values is ‘we look after each other‘.

That includes mental as well as physical health and safety.

Talking about mental health can make people uncomfortable.

Please remember that you should always treat people with respect. Joking about mental health issues can cause harm.

The risk of suicide for men on site is three times higher than the national average. (ONS 2017)

At VGC we do our best to ensure everyone is well and mentally fit to carry out your work.

If you have a physical health issue, you go to your pharmacist, GP, dentist or optometrist for help. But people who suffer from hidden health issues like stress, depression and anxiety may feel unable to ask for help.

1 in 4 image

Every year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem.

These questions below can help you understand if you are doing enough for your mental (and physical) wellbeing.

  • Do I sleep well?
  • Do I spend enough time with friends and family?
  • Do I eat healthy food?
  • Do I exercise regularly?
  • Do I take suitable breaks?
  • Do I spend time outside / close to nature / doing hobbies or sport?

Work-related stress in the construction industry can come from heavy workloads, long working hours, travel, being away from family, job insecurity, money worries, tight deadlines and high risk activities.

Each ‘no’ answer suggests where you could look after yourself better.

Signs that something could be wrong:

Behaviour

  • Low morale
  • Poor timekeeping
  • Absent
  • Not motivated to work
  • Poor productivity and decision making
  • Felling stressed/mood swings
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

Physical signs

  • Changes in appearance
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Constipation / diarrhoea
  • Indigestion / heartburn / ulcers
  • Heart problems
  • High or low blood pressure

happy VGC workers chattingDo not neglect the things that keep you well.

It can be hard with the demands of work and personal life, but try to:

  • Keep active
  • Eat well
  • Drink sensibly
  • Avoid caffeine late in the evening
  • Wind down before bed and avoid electronic devices, especially in the hour before
  • Do something you are good at
  • Take a break
  • Keep in touch with friends and family
  • Talk to friends and colleagues if you feel stressed – don’t bottle it up!
  • Ask for help

Support

  1. Speak to your line manager. They can support with work challenges and direct you to a mental health first aider.
  2. VGC’s dedicated wellbeing champion is a trained mental health first aider. Call Fiona on 07464 919245 to chat in confidence.
  3. Part of the VGC employee benefit scheme is the freephone Construction Worker Helpline: 8am – 8pm on 0808 801 0373
  4. Samaritans 24-hour free helpline: phone or text free 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  5. Contact your GP.