At Rise we take the mental wellbeing of our staff very seriously. We take a “prevention is the best cure” approach. We are training staff up as mental health first aiders, so they are more confident and competent in dealing not only with an acute crisis, but also to potentially preventing a crisis. MHFA trains people to recognise the early signs for risk factors, which is particularly valuable in a high pressure environment such as a construction site. Prevention is as important as acute crisis management. Our staff are our greatest asset so we have to look after them.
We have had a positive response from staff and have been promoting the availability of our mental health first aiders so they know who they can come to and that somebody is available if they do need help, or even just with day-to-day issues they might want to speak to someone about in this respect.
We are doing talks on our sites to brief staff on MHFA and other related resources that are available to them, the events are generally also open to trades so there is an awareness among them that someone who can help in the first instance is on site, and to introduce the mental health first aiders so people can get to know them. Ultimately we are working towards normalising how mental health issues are addressed and striving for parity of mental health and physical health.
RISE was among 65 organisations taking part in the first Stop! Make a Change day on the 18th of April, initiated by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) this April. The event is thought to be the biggest stand-down in UK construction, with mental health beingone of 4 areas of priority, mental health was one of them.
We held a series of talks on of our sites, the Royal Opera House, which saw a good turnout of clients, trades and RISE staff.