Updated: Apr 23
Before you jump down to the comments box and become a keyboard warrior about my headline - I would like to invite you to read a little more…
The following information is from my own experience from working within the building industry for nearly 20 years and going through depression, stress and anxiety to a point of burnout and break down!
Mental Health is a buzz word. It's perceived so differently between different demographics, depending on so many factors.
When I talk to people in an office environment about Mental Health, I get mixed reactions. Some are open to it while others get uncomfortable. However, if I talk about Wellbeing, I get a much better response.
Now, imagine standing on building site talking about Mental Health or Wellbeing, again I get a mixed bag of reactions:
You'll see some roll their eyes, tutting, shifting uncomfortably
They don't think it affects them, therefore, they don't have time for it
Some perceive it as 'fluff' and take no notice
Or some feel it’s just another ‘fad’ the company is trying to roll out!
So how do we get the right information to the right people in the right way?
Meet them where they are at. Understand that everyone is different. Make it relevant to them.
Make it part of your culture. Don’t add attention to it as though it’s something new and shiny (new and shiny things tend to loose there appeal!) - instead, incorporate it as part of your business
We have a duty of care to ensure that everyone who is working for us (including contractors) are getting the information and support they need. Here are some fatality stats on occupation in 2016 according to the Workplace Australia
34% (62) of workers killed were employed as machinery operators and drivers
22% (40) of workers killed were labourers
13% (24) of workers killed were manager
14% (26) of workers killed were technicians and trades workers.
We are all holding meeting, whether they are Prestart, Healthy & Safety briefings, Inductions, Toolbox talks, just to name a few. It costs nothing to add Mental Health to the agenda of these meetings. The more you talk about it, the more it becomes the norm.
Don’t give up, have a plan and roll it out. Consistency is key. Culture is changed one person at a time… are you going to be that one person?!
I would love to know what one thing you have taken from this post and what is going to be your action around it?
Don’t forget to share this post, sharing is caring. You never know who needs to hear this!
Thank you for reading, Emma.