All Safe Minds
05 March 2018
The HSM Campaigns Hub provides you with information on the latest health & safety initiatives. This issue, we look at All Safe Minds – a campaign launched by UK construction giant Willmott Dixon to encourage mental fitness across the UK construction sector
Willmott Dixon has a long and well-established track record for safeguarding the physical health of its employees across the nation’s construction sites. But as a result of some unsettling figures that have emerged from the industry over recent years, they are now also leading the way in raising awareness of the mental health issues affecting the sector.
2017 saw the launch of All Safe Minds – a campaign to encourage mental fitness across the UK construction sector, particularly amongst young men, who historically have found it difficult to talk about their problems.
Recent studies commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) found that certain groups of male construction workers were at greatest risk of suicide, with figures at a staggering 3.7 times above the national average.
As one of the UK’s largest contractors, Willmott Dixon forged ahead with the All Safe Minds campaign to ensure that everyone working on its many project sites across the UK, is fully aware of the support network available.
All Safe Minds aims to instil a 3-step process - the Three Rs - into daily work culture, encouraging all employees to:
RECOGNISE. Be aware if you or someone you know is struggling to cope.
REACH OUT. Start the conversation. If you are struggling, talk to someone you trust. Or if you know a colleague is struggling, offer your support – simply lending an ear can make all the difference.
REBUILD. Use the resources available to you to start taking back control.
As part of the campaign, a hard-hitting infographic has been released, laying bare some frightening statistics.
Mark French, head of health, safety and environment for Willmott Dixon Group, said: “Although the way we deal with mental health in the workplace is improving fast, our industry still presents some of the most upsetting statistics. The figures make uncomfortable reading, but we need to break the taboo and start talking about how serious this problem is.
“The infographic immediately caught the attention of the UK trade media, who helped it reach hundreds of thousands of construction personnel via magazines, websites and social media feeds, within just a few days of its release.”
Mark was invited to appear on a 24-hour non-stop broadcast for mental health hosted by Radio City in Liverpool. The event took place on Monday 15th January, aka Blue Monday, and featured contributions from many of the region's most respected healthcare professionals.
Mental health first aiders
To support the public face of All Safe Minds, Willmott Dixon is working behind the scenes to increase the routes to support. All operatives across project sites nationwide receive an introductory presentation on mental health in which they are made aware of the help available.
In addition, hundreds of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) are being trained and deployed to site. The MHFAs will provide a network of support across the entire organisation, encouraging employees and colleagues to seek help if they have existing problems or realise that they’re starting to struggle.
Every site office will display a new campaign poster, raising awareness of the MHFAs and making it easy for personnel to contact their local first aider quickly and discreetly if needed.
All Safe Minds Z-Cards
The latest addition to the campaign is a Z-Card, which is issued to everyone attending the initial mental health session.
The discreet business-card sized aide has been designed to fit easily into a pocket or wallet, offering a subtle source of reference, which can be accessed easily if the need arises. Hundreds of Z-Cards have already been issued, with thousands more ready to be handed out over coming months.
Mark French concludes: “Since the launch of All Safe Minds in 2017, momentum has been building around the issue of mental health in our industry. Our long-term aim is for it to become a natural mind-set for men to seek help if they become overwhelmed by their own personal situation.
“The Z-Card will be handed out across our business both internally and externally. The logo and ethos are already commonplace across Willmott Dixon sites and throughout 2018 we will continue to roll the campaign out to a wider construction audience until All Safe Minds becomes engrained into our everyday culture.”
For more information visit www.willmottdixon.co.uk/how-we-do-it/all-safe-minds