HSE International ISSUE 109 - Page 33

“Mates in Mind is seeking to support construction companies in raising awareness, addressing the stigma and improving positive mental wellbeing across their sector.” mental health approaches across the sector, there is an opportunity to acknowledge differing cultures and sub- sectors, learn from each other and to work to reduce variance.” Mates in Mind has an ambitious goal - a target of reaching 100,000 workers by September 2018. The charity has set itself the deadline of 2025 to reach 75% of the entire construction industry. WHAT IS MATES IN MIND? In January 2016, the pan-industry Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) hosted a summit for CEOs and leaders from across the construction sector who recognised the need to improve the mental wellbeing of its workforce. As a result, the idea for Mates in Mind was formulated to be the industry’s first step in tackling the health versus safety disparity. HSE International Editor Katrina Kendrick spoke to Mates in Mind Founding Partners - the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) and the British Safety Council. Mates in Mind, a registered charity, was launched in January 2016. Initially, six Partner Organisations - Balfour Beatty, Careys, Heathrow, Tideway, WillmottDixon and VolkerWessels UK - piloted the Mates in Mind framework. Since then, organisations including Galliford Try, Sellafield and Tarmac, have committed to being a Business Champion for mental health and wellbeing with Mates in Mind. A full roll out of the Mates in Mind initiative took place on 11 September 2017 to the entire construction industry. Over 350 other companies - of various size and drawn from across the entire sector - have expressed serious interest in committing to the Mates in Mind framework. Clive Johnson, Chair of the Health in Construction Leadership Group and Head of Health and Safety at Landsec, said: “Mates in Mind aims to raise awareness, address the stigma of poor mental health and improve positive mental wellbeing in the UK construction industry. For too many years the industry has been shouting about safety but only whispering about health, when they need equal billing. I am extremely proud that Landsec and the HCLG are at the forefront of ensuring mental health provision within construction is dramatically improved. Following a very successful trial period, Mates in Mind has now been officially launched and I would encourage people who are keen to find out more to visit the Mates in Mind website. “Training Mental Health First Aiders is something that we are really passionate about at Landsec – we believe they are just as important as physical first aiders. We have had a fantastic number of people volunteer for the two day course, which, once completed, enables participants to sign-post colleagues to the right services and agencies for help and advice, if they need support. I’d like the network of  HSE INTERNATIONAL 33