This week we have focused on mental health as part of our Toolbox Talks session at CES Hire. Appropriately, this week (14th-20th of May) is Mental Health Awareness week. Mental health affects 1 in 4 people in the UK and can range from depression and anxiety to bi-polar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. There is no mental health disorder that is worse than another since it is personal to each and every person and for that individual it is incredibly debilitating.
Mental health issues occur when the negative feelings persist and make everyday living a struggle. Of course for some, these negative feelings can be too much to cope with and even lead to something as severe as suicide. The sad and rather shocking fact is that suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 45 and 84 men a week take their own lives. This awful statistic was highlighted by Project 84 (click here), a project that aims to highlight the sad fact that every 2 hours a man in the UK takes his own life. Mark Jenkins, and his collaborator Sandra Fernandez, created 84 individual sculptures which have been placed on the top of the ITV studio building in London. Each figure represented a real life that has been lost. A particularly chilling reminder of the prevalence of male suicide which ties in so much with mental health. In our male dominated construction industry where a hyper-masculine image may be the norm and the phrase ‘man-up’ a prevalent one, we need to work on shedding this image and realise that it is okay not to be okay. We need to be there for any of our colleagues that may be struggling. Have you checked in with your colleagues today, just a simple ‘how are you feeling’ will do?
How many of us go to the gym, eat healthily, go for a run/swim/walk to exercise our physical health? Exercising your mental health is just as important as exercising your physical health to prevent negative feeling manifesting and escalating to something much bigger. The team at CES Hire came up with a few suggestions of strategies to help exercise their mental health. Other strategies to look after mental health include; being mindful (focusing on the present and not the stresses and concerns of the next day/week/month), putting your phone away (have some real human interaction), get outside, give gratitude (spend a minute at the end of the day telling yourself or a family member what was so positive about that day), listen to music, give meditation a go (there’s loads of phone apps out there that guide you through), get plenty of sleep (go to bed an hour earlier), ditch social media (especially if it’s encouraging negative feelings), make time for you and most importantly TALK. Some of you may have tuned in to the Mental Health Minute (please see here) which was broadcast all over the UK at 10.59 on Tuesday 15th May. The central message from the well-known figures sharing the information was that it is ‘Okay to say’ and that sharing our concerns and worries is of incredible benefit to our mental health.
Here at CES Hire we are going to actively attempt to exercise our mental health, whether that be buying ice lollies in the hot weather to boost team morale, having face to face conversations or even taking part in a little mindful colouring (construction themed of course), check out our Facebook page in the next few weeks to find out who’s been awarded the gold star for their colouring efforts!
If you or someone you know requires some help or support please visit these helpful links below…