June 24, 2024

The Midlands-based developer now has a variety of mental health first aiders within the business who are on hand to talk to their colleagues about anything they may be struggling with.

Combining the position alongside their full-time roles, the first aiders have become a point of contact for any employee dealing with a mental health issue or emotional distress, and help to spot the signs of any such issue manifesting at an early stage, guiding their colleagues into getting the appropriate help.

This initiative by MORRO Partnerships is part of the collective effort to bring down the rate of work-induced mental health problems.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 875,000 people were reported to have experienced work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2022-23.

Mark Eustace, mental health first aider and Group Head of Health, Safety and Compliance at MORRO Partnerships, said: “As an industry, construction has an extraordinarily high suicide rate, so for people at MORRO to understand they have multiple people they can talk to privately is reassuring.

“We’ve established a culture of openness and communication which will go a long way to helping employers spot signs of potential issues early and guide their staff members to the appropriate course of action.

“By maintaining regular, open dialogue with one another, line managers, colleagues and peers will be more likely to notice a change in others’ moods, for instance a drop in motivation or enthusiasm.”

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), workers in construction are now nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than in any other sector.

Mark is one of four designated mental health first aiders for MORRO Partnerships, all of whom have undergone extensive training surrounding mental health and the factors that can affect personal wellbeing.

The developer takes a holistic approach to employee health and wellbeing, with the understanding that all its team members are individuals.

MORRO’s mental health first aiders comprise a mixture of office-based and site-based employees.

Tom Grove, a MORRO Assistant Site Manager, said: “I’ve learned a lot throughout my training and my time spent as a mental health first aider, including how to spot potential issues early.

“There are many signs to that something may be wrong, such as avoiding social occasions, a change in mannerisms, and a change in appetite.

“It’s important for people to understand that mental illnesses can manifest physical symptoms as well as emotional.

As well as the support MORRO Partnerships offers to its employees through its mental health initiatives, there are many construction-related mental health charities that publish guidance and advice to those struggling in the industry.

One such charity, Mates in Mind, recently published ONS data which stated that the risk of suicide among low-skilled male labourers, particularly those working in construction, was three times higher than the male national average.

On the early signings of mental health issues in the workplace, Mark added: “Stress and poor mental health manifests itself in many forms and the mental health journey is different for everyone.

“Common signs include decreased motivation, inability to concentrate and deliberate isolation from those around you.

“Having a number of trained mental health first aiders from all areas of our business is a key part of the health and wellbeing culture we have instilled.”

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