Building support for World Mental Health Day 2020

PACIFIC are proud to join with other organisations around the globe today in actively promoting awareness of World Mental Health Day.

Nearly two-thirds of people in the construction sector in the United Kingdom say that they have experienced mental ill health – one of the worst rates of any industry – and evidence suggests that it is responsible for almost 13% of all sickness absence days.

Pacific’s Cultures & Values team looked deeper into the issue last year and formulated a plan to send all of the company’s managers on a mental health awareness course.

This training programme, run by health & safety and human resources training providers iHASCO, aims to help raise awareness of mental ill health (particularly stress, depression and anxiety), provide tools and guidance for daily wellbeing management and seeks to remove the stigma surrounding mental ill health.

Pacific’s managers learned:

  • How to take positive steps to remove stigma surrounding mental ill-health
  • How to understand different mental illnesses, how to recognise changes in behaviour and what to keep an eye on
  • That happier staff make better, more productive employees
  • What they can do to support others

The iHASCO Mental Health Awareness Training programme is the only course of its kind to be approved by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, which is the largest health and safety membership body in the world.

Every year, the World Health Organization, which runs World Mental Health Day, calls on governments around the globe to invest more money in mental health and to promote two main goals, to:

  • Educate people about mental health conditions
  • Remove feelings of shame, worry or embarrassment associated with them

Many mental health conditions can be treated at low cost, yet the gap between people needing care and those with access to it is signifcant, and effective care coverage remains low generally.

Despite progress in some countries, people with mental health conditions continue to experience stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses.

This year’s focus is on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s mental balance.

So today, we urge you to wear a green ribbon – the international symbol for mental health awareness – to show colleagues, friends, loved ones or simply those you walk past in the street that you care about their mental wellbeing.

Pacific Managing Director Gerard McMahon said: “At Pacific, we are aware of the importance of maintaining good mental health and are fully committed to raising awareness by making this one of our key priorities.

“Now more than ever its vitally important to have suitable training in place for our managers to assist in supporting any of our staff who may be experiencing mental ill health.”

As a member of the Chartered Institute of Building, Pacific also acknowledges the ongoing efforts by the organisation to raise awareness of mental health issues within the industry.

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