Developing minds – our mental health & wellbeing commitment

18th April 2021

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SWAG mental health charity

Did you know that by 2030, depression is said to become the leading cause of disease burden in high-income countries according to the World Health Organization? [1]

To appreciate the issue from a material perspective, poor mental health is estimated to cost UK businesses an estimated £33 – £42 Billion a year.[2]

What provides a more an alarming statistic, particularly for MacConvilles’ business sector, is that the Construction industry is said to be one of the most effected industries by Mental Health illnesses. For instance, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45, however male site workers are said to be 3 times more likely to commit suicide than the average UK male.[3]

This is a heavy opening to the topic but the severity of the mental health problem cannot be underestimated and should be studied with great prioritization.

The question is, could we all collectively work together and provide better mental wellbeing and practices within our individual organizations to stop this from becoming an accepted truth? Here at MacConvilles we are truly hoping to do so.

Our example

Since early Autumn 2020, MacConvilles have been actively involved in and pledged affiliation to the Co-Founders of Sussex Wellness Action Group (SWAG). SWAG has already acknowledged the alarming statistics of national Mental Health Illness, particularly in relation to the Construction Industry and since been established as a Charity in the community business sector.

With no surprise, the late 2020 national COVID lockdown limited the natural progression of the charity but did provide a beneficial period of reflection for its members. It allowed the members of the SWAG to further evaluate how they could best serve the mental health and wellbeing of their community moving forward.

SWAG was initially created to support at a local level in the Construction Industry. However due to the incredible support the movement has received from Clients, Consultants and Contractors alike, SWAG identified that it is able to encompass more than simply the building industry at site level. It has now been identified that SWAG can bring support to offices of Clients, Consultants and Professionals, both within and beyond the construction industry.

A fundamental principle of SWAG is the pooling of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) across all offices and site to support people in crises or simply in need of support to access help from a MHFA remote from their own employer.

Without prejudice, every affiliate member would then assist any employee or individual in need of support to assist them in regaining their mental health and wellbeing.

This is where MacConvilles’ have another large role to play in the process of it’s own and SWAGs growth with relation to Mental Health and Wellbeing and of SWAGs fundamental principles.

Our next move

As affiliate members of SWAG, MacConvilles are procuring the training of various individuals within the business to provide internal supporting roles for MHFA. With this, MacConvilles can work to provide improved support to our own employees but also to the wider community.

We hope that this availability and openness can provide a suitable platform to support various individuals that require help. Alongside this we will work closely with our affiliate members within SWAG to continuously share experiences to regularly update and upgrade our approach to mental health wellbeing and necessary support.

The SWAG movement has guided us to further evaluate ourselves, leading to our current review of our own internal mental health wellbeing policy. As well as internal research, we hope that we can obtain support and experiences from external organisations to provide the most suitable wellbeing policy for our own employees.

MacConvilles eventually hope that our own policy could provide as a good example for other professionals and businesses aiding development of their own internal policies.

What can you do?

The Mental Health crisis is wider and greater than that of MacConvilles and SWAG Charity alone. A change in attitude and management toward mental health wellbeing is required on a National and World-Wide scale.

Of course, we have to set achievable goals in order to take action against this significant crisis. Like us, you could consider the initial steps to improve the mental health support and wellbeing within your business;

  • Creation of a company Mental Health policy, or;
  • Revision of an existing company Mental Health policy, is it still relevant and up to date?
  • Internal Mental Health Awareness training for employees and leadership
  • Introduce Mental Well-Being as a key topic during 1 to 1 reviews.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive but provides a good foundation for action.

On a personal level, as well as a company level, there is plenty of information available on websites of various reputable/ leading mental health and wellbeing charities, to name a few;

[1] Mental Health Awareness Course – H&S Dept Central

[2] Mental Health Awareness Course – H&S Dept Central

 

[3] https://theholistichealthcaregroup.com/2020/02/mental-health-in-the-construction-industry/


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