This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) focuses on the benefits of staying active for a healthier, happier life. The programme, ‘Movement: Moving more for our mental health’, which takes place from May 13th to May 19th, is on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation. BriggsAmasco highlights the company’s commitment to enshrining employees’ mental wellbeing, which is essential to maintaining a contented, productive workplace.

As one of the country’s leading roofing contractors, BriggsAmasco is well aware of the pressures the job can bring. Roofing can pose great physical demands, which over time can take a mental toll. Roofing is one of the more challenging building sectors to work in, this is due to the risks associated with working at height. Spending periods working away from home and loved ones can add to mental pressures, with toiling in a male dominant environment making it perhaps difficult for those to open-up about their problems. The suffering-in-silence issue is one we’ve spent the past few years across all areas of BriggsAmasco business.

Mental Health Awareness Initiatives

We ensure that staff and operatives are fully aware that their mental health, wellbeing and safety is the company’s number one priority. To aid us in this endeavour we have mental health first aid instructors who provide the necessary training for individuals to become mental health first aiders. This has led to staff being better equipped to spot developing behaviours that indicate a mental health issue. These might include a change to a person’s demeanour or personal appearance. Each of these potential red flags could help assign someone a source of help.

Staff feedback

The comments from our training course attendees have been extremely positive. Our instructors have earned praise for their excellent engagement and understanding of the course’s objectives. Others have spoken positively about group interaction making it easier for individuals to discuss mental health issues. The ultimate compliment is from employees telling us how they felt better equipped to spot signs of stress and mental illness in others.

Mental Health Awareness Benefits

Whilst we cannot divulge personal details, we have seen a reduction in staff-operative absenteeism due to anxiety or stress. This is a huge win for everyone. It fully endorses the long-held importance we’ve placed on staff mental wellness. It’s why, several years ago, we introduced a programme involving two dedicated mental health instructors. This was crucial to us keeping abreast of mental health issues and keeping staff and operatives informed of any new training requirements. Our development of mental health first aider courses ensure support is available for our staff throughout the UK.

BriggsAmasco has 36 mental health first aiders and two dedicated mental health first aid instructors. Our Mental Health First Aid Instructors deliver a full two-day Mental Health First Aid Course, as well as refresher training when required. Mental Health Awareness training is also provided as part of our company induction.

It’s Good to Talk

BriggsAmasco welcomes initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week. The more people are encouraged to talk about mental health issues, the less they will suffer from what is sadly a very prevalent problem. Four in five suicides are men, with suicide the biggest cause of death for men under 351. In 2020, reported suicide rates amongst construction workers were 3.7 times higher than the national average2.

In terms of further training initiatives, BriggsAmasco is in the process of delivering refresher courses to all previously qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We are also in the process of recruiting Mental Health First Aiders, who will complete a two-day course at company branches throughout the country.

Our commitment to providing staff with the best possible mental health support remains absolute.

1 UK Parliament report

2 Office for National Statistics report