The article below makes for hard reading. It makes me think about the huge workforce caravan park that has been created on the M4 just as I leave Reading (and probably like all other large scale construction sites currently in operation). It is brilliant to see people like Angie Young building the necessary environment to solve the mental health crisis at Hinckley Point.
We all have mental health and it is important to remember everyone has bad days. Some worse than others. As Angie says ‘it is ok not to be ok’. The more this is aired and discussed the greater the positivity is for those who are struggling and those who are helping to support.
Angie explains an approach that HPC are taking is with with regards to prevention. The current example is by having “200 mental health buddies” on site to give that opportunity to intervene.
Prevention was cited in the Deloitte analysis for the Stevenson-Farmer Review to provide a 4.2x ROI. I hope this is proven here. So what else can HPC do? Angie explains the number 1 challenge is loneliness and issues are occurring away from the site itself.
We have recently seen the law firm Linklaters take a step forward by providing an app based recommendation engine. The platform collates various wellbeing solutions including apps, digital coaches and fitness activities, with an algorithm then recommending the steps individuals should take to protect and improve their mental health.
With all the positive steps HPC are taking, hopefully the construction and other industries can follow the example to accept the challenge of ill mental health and solve them.
“We were in utter shock when they told us the statistics around suicides and mental health,” said Malcolm Davies, a convenor at the Unite union at Hinkley Point C. “The scale of the mental health issues at Hinkley is something I have never seen before.” “We are in a phase now with mental health where we were with safety 50 years ago,” said Davies, a construction veteran who is a champion of mental health first aid at the site. “The same number of people are going off, only now they are not going off with injuries. They are going off with stress.” The main causes of the distress appear to be loneliness, relationship breakdown and the struggle of being sometimes hundreds of miles away from family.