In light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, it is expected that workplace mental health issues, already a pervasive challenge, will be heavily impacted. For the construction industry, this is particularly critical, as the suicide rate within the sector is already is three times the national average.
Tideway's support for Mates in Mind's COVID-19 relief fund will help the mental health charity continue to support the most vulnerable workers by addressing gaps in workplace mental health provision for the self-employed, and small businesses - some of the those who are hit hardest by this unexpected crisis.
Mates in Mind will be delivering online mental health workshops and other support for construction workers with the key aim of supporting those who are harder to reach and potentially most vulnerable e.g. small business and self-employed.
The charity aims to reach over 500 vulnerable individuals, offering research lead training and support, with workshops that began during Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. This programme funded by Tideway will also include a 12-month support package for 20 small businesses (less than 10 people) providing access to a dedicated support officer, business assessments, resources and more.
"Taking proactive steps to address mental health issues has never been more important as the whole world battles COVID-19," said James Rudoni, MD of Mates in Mind. "This funding from Tideway will ensure that more vital support gets to those who are finding it difficult to effectively manage their mental health. Helping individuals take control of their mental wellbeing, better manage their anxiety and avoid spiralling into depression or worse.
"By providing individuals and SMEs the opportunity to learn, share and talk about their experiences during COVID-19, we can reach out to those who don't normally have access to workplace support, such as small and medium enterprises and the self-employed.
"We know that without support, these groups are more at risk of higher levels of stress, depression and suicide. However, with a better understanding of mental health issues and how to address them, this funding can change how people manage their own wellbeing and save lives."
John Sage, corporate responsibility manager at Tideway, said: "Mates in Mind does incredibly important work supporting construction workers' mental health by ‘starting the conversation' and their expertise has never been more important than now. The self-employed and those in small construction businesses, who often do not have access to this type of support, are among the most vulnerable to serious mental health problems in this crisis and Tideway is pleased that our donation will help Mates In Mind to reach out to them. "
Tideway has trained 167 people on the project to be mental health first-aiders, including CEO Andy Mitchell and the senior leadership team, giving them the skills and understanding to recognise if co-workers are struggling and how to offer support.
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