A crowd of over 100 engaged construction community members came together on Thursday 16th May to learn about Mental Health in Construction. 86% signed the giant pledge to raise awareness of Mental Health within their own companies.
The event featured speakers from The Lighthouse Club, The Building Mental Health Project, Bridgwater & Taunton College, New Leaf Life Design and THSP Health and Safety.
The audience were treated to a flash mob Bridgwater Community Voices Choir. This formed part of the connection between construction mental health and community, together with The Samaritans and Mind present.
One of the organisers Becky Wright from New Leaf said, “The conference was simply buzzing with energy. There was a real feeling that the audience wanted to engage with the subject of Mental Health and help to reduce the stigma which is why people don’t feel they can talk about the issue.”
Becky went onto say, “ We had some wonderful feedback ….Thank you to the organisers for making a difference….. I found it very interesting to get other people’s thoughts and opinions of mental health and how it could be dealt with it”
The conference offered the audience very practical examples of how they can disseminate information and raise awareness through Toolbox Talks, talking about the support services available and encouraging Mental Health First Aiders to be present on each building project. The conference also raised over £500 for The Lighthouse Club which provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families with the aim of reducing the suicide risk amongst construction workers.
Every day two construction workers take their own life. We have to educate everyone in the industry to recognise the signs and symptoms of our colleagues that are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression and start the conversation to assist in their recovery
Sponsorship from CRS Building Supplies, Exelin, Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Orca Pay Group, Jelf Insurance, Clarke Willmott, Julian Forsey Building and Construction and New Leaf made the event self-funded.
Here is a short video showing the set up of the conference. thank you to everyone who made this happen.