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Making sure that mental health and wellbeing support programmes are in place is a great first step to take for all companies, irrespective of size. 
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that it’s absolutely essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and across all sectors, to prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce. 
Rates of depression, anxiety and stress have skyrocketed over the last two years - but making mental health a priority will yield positive results for employees and employers alike, making people feel supported and valued, and improving staff retention at the same time. 
Where the construction sector is concerned, prioritising mental health is of paramount importance. Recent research published by the Chartered Institute of Building found that, in 2019, 26 per cent of professionals in the industry considered taking their own lives, while 56 per cent work for companies with no policies relating to mental health in the workplace. 
In addition, 70 per cent of those asked said they had experienced depression and 87 per cent that they had experienced anxiety over the last 12 months. 
President of the Institute professor Charles Egbu said at the time: “Tackling mental ill health is going to remain a significant challenge for the industry over the next few years and we must work as a collective - involving industry, government and professional bodies to make more fundamental changes and improvements to mental health provision.” 
How to protect mental health in the construction sector 
Making sure that mental health and wellbeing support programmes are in place is a great first step to take for all companies, irrespective of size. 
As important as it is to ensure that this is offered to all direct employees, it’s also essential that you make it known to supply chain staff members that they too have access to mental health and wellbeing resources through their main contractors. 
Starting the conversation with employees about mental health and increasing awareness of it can help reduce any negative stigma that may still exist and which may prevent those who need help from seeking it out. 
By opening up dialogue at work, you’ll help staff members potentially identify struggles and issues that they might not have yet admitted to themselves, helping them to feel more comfortable about looking for potential solutions. 
Implementing specific policies is also essential, as this can drive mental health improvements in the workplace. This could be through the provision of flexible working, for example, or providing mental health days so that people feel better able to ask for time off for appointments or seeing the doctor. 
Support packages are also a great option for those in the industry, such as those that can help with pain management, allowing employees to recover from any injuries they may have sustained at work. Other options could also include onsite mental health services, peer support and ongoing training for managers so they can support workers as time goes on. 
Are you looking into online health and safety courses at the moment? Get in touch with Hampshire Training today to find out more. 
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