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Mental Health Awareness Week: Industry leaders provide wellbeing and loneliness support

Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) comes at a time the UK finds itself under great stress as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Working in collaboration with national construction framework organisation Pagabo and software provider Sypro, mental health charity Mates in Mind has released two videos aimed at providing practical advice for those who may be struggling with loneliness or to manage their mental health during this period.

James Rudoni, Managing Director at Mates in Mind, said: “Mental health is already a huge and important issue to address and tackle across the board, but at this moment in time it’s never been more important to provide support where it’s needed.

“There are many ways we can be taking care of ourselves and others during this unprecedented time. Traditional aspects of social interaction have been removed, but there are still many ways for us to stay connected and support each other. It’s important to remember that it is okay to not be okay all of the time, and to seek support where we need it.”

Established by the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) with the support of the British Safety Council in 2016, Mates in Mind is a registered charity that aims to provide clear information to employers on available support and guidance for mental health and wellbeing.

The charity supports organisations throughout the UK, focusing on construction, as well as working across other sectors including transport, logistics and manufacturing.

Chief Executive at Pagabo, Simon Toplass said: “This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness, and being kind to one another is of utmost importance to our collective wellbeing. We don’t have to cope with difficult feelings alone, and the simple act of calling a colleague or setting up a virtual coffee chat can make the world of difference – especially to those who are isolating alone. 

“The key industries that Mates in Mind supports are obviously close to home for us working within the construction sector, so it is the perfect charity for us to support at the moment. There has long been an important issue to tackle when it comes to the mental health and wellbeing of people working within our sector, but recent weeks and months have only seen an increase in the stresses on our workforce with safety and work. 

“On top of this, the latest guidance from the government is that those who cannot perform their jobs at home should return to work. This will be people within the very same industries, who will no doubt be facing additional stresses that could negatively impact their wellbeing, whether that be caring for dependants or concerns around their own health and safety when at or travelling to work.”

Rudoni added: “By 2025, we aim to have reached 75 per cent of the construction industry. One of the biggest challenges in this will be in reaching SMEs, which is why working collaborations across the industry are so valuable to our efforts. Thanks to their connections across the industry, working in collaboration with Pagabo and Sypro allows us to reach many more of these smaller businesses, which will no doubt be feeling the profound effects of the current pandemic.”


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