No construction worker should be left alone in a crisis and that has never been more important than it is right now as builders struggle with the ongoing physical, mental, and economic effects of COVID-19.
It has developed a simple five-step framework that companies can follow in order to create a better health.
Many business owners or employers feel that an employee’s health isn’t their issue. But the truth is that how an employee feels, thinks and acts impacts everything from their productivity to communication to their ability to maintain safety in the workplace. Helping employees improve their health could be one of the most important steps an employer can take to improve an individual’s well-being, as well as the health of their entire business. So how can you create a positive environment for mental health in the workplace?
Our state of emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, act and how we cope with normal everyday life. Factors both in and outside of work affect our health and move us up or down a scale that ranges from good to poor.
Positive health is rarely an absolute state as anyone can suffer a period of mental ill health. It can occur suddenly, as a result of a specific event, or gradually, where it develops over time.
A person may generally have positive health but, for example, a death in the family may trigger a period of depression, moving them into poor health. In contrast, a person with a health condition, such as anxiety, may have developed good coping strategies, so for the majority of the time they will be in good mental health.
Some conditions may be persistent and are classed as a disability; others may be periodic, where the person may have good days and bad days. People diagnosed with a mental health condition can, with the right support, enjoy positive health. Common health issues can range from, for example, stress, anxiety and depression to more serious mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
Mental health charter and make a commitment towards improving mental health in the industry.
Order a helpline pack and promote the 24/7 construction industry helpline to your colleagues.
Deliver a ‘tool box talk’ about mental health and wellbeing in your workplace.
Offer employees who manage people the opportunity to complete mental health first aid training.
Ensure you have enough mental health first aiders trained for your workplace
Just like physical illnesses, mental illnesses can, and most likely will, affect employee’s lives at work. If an illness makes it impossible for an employee to do their job, physical or mental, then employees can be dismissed due to mental health. This would have to be following a full and fair process.
The main responsibility for mental health in the workplace does fall down to the managers, or employers. This is because they need to be ensuring that they are looking after their staff as best as they can and trying to prevent staff absence due to mental health. Some responsibility does also come down to the employee. They need to be aware of how they are feeling and report this to managers if they are struggling.
You have the disclose at any time of your employment if you are suffering from a mental health problem. You should be open and honest with your workplace, particularly if you are new. Your employer can not choose to not employ you based on a disclosure of a mental health problem.
Talking about mental health can seem daunting, but we’ve all had conversations with people about bereavements, break-ups and other life issues. It all starts with asking someone how they are doing in a warm and authentic way – giving them a chance to realise that you are being sincere and friendly. This often means a lot to a person having a tough time, but if they don’t want to talk just let them know you are there when they are ready.
When they are ready to talk it may be hard to hear difficult or upsetting things, but you want to reassure and encourage the person – that means not showing signs of surprise or judgement.
Reassure the person that it’s OK to be speaking to you, and that you will treat what they say with respect and, if they want, confidentiality. Don’t start suggesting solutions to problems – they may just want to get it off their chest – wait until they ask for your opinion or advice and, even then, be aware that your solution may not suit them.
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