Mental health and wellbeing
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 wellbeing issues can cause harm.
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.
At VGC we do our best to ensure everyone is well and mentally fit to carry out their work.
Our workforce is our biggest asset, so we know it is important to look after their wellbeing. Poor mental health can result in low morale, poor timekeeping, lack of motivation, poor productivity and decision making.
Every year one in four of us will experience problem with our mental fitness.
Employees who suffer from work-related stress may also suffer from anxiety, depression, increased illness and absence from work. Stress can also impact people physically. It can lead to high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and increased risk of heart attack. People may turn to drugs and alcohol.
We work with our chosen charity, State of Mind Sport, to help people to learn about how to keep mentally healthy.
Try our short quiz to see if you should do more to support your mental wellbeing.
The construction industry has an issue with mental health.
People suffer from pressures like demands to meet project deadlines and the risks involved in completing jobs quickly. There are heavy workloads, long working hours, travel, family separation, fear of redundancy and job insecurity, financial and budgeting pressures, tight deadlines and high risk activities. All of these can potentially lead to poor mental wellbeing.
A Construction Manager article from 2012 described “the image of the tough male who doesn’t show emotion.” It said that one third of men would be embarrassed to see a GP for feelings of depression, and that it can be very hard for men in this industry to discuss stress and mental health with their boss.
The CCS ‘Spotlight on mental health’ quotes a Good Day at Work Annual Report for 2014/2015 which focused on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The report said that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any year. Poor mental health affects anyone. The report also quotes HSE statistics for 2012-13 which showed that 428,000 out of 1.8m new work-related illness conditions in the UK were down to stress, anxiety or depression. The average number of days lost per year due to mental health was 24 days across all industries.
The HSE website sets out management standards: six key areas of work design that an organisation can use to manage and control the risks from work-related stress.
(Other presentations include ecology, risk assessments, bribery and ethics, and spill prevention and response. The presentations give a general overview of the issues, and what actions to take. Each presentation lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and can be tailored to fit a particular project or site requirement.
We are happy to include a whole team, not just VGC Group employees. This forms part of our Be Safe behavioural safety programme.
If you would like further details, please contact the HSQE team.)