June 2022 Update
After the success of the state of mind’ seminars pre-covid, we were delighted to be able to invite the men back for another two in-person sessions. The sessions were well attended and made a great impact. We asked one attendee what he thought of the session:
The State of Mind sessions should be mandatory, the honesty and openness from the presenters Danny and Phil was so powerful. The real message here is these are two guys, who are involved in a very masculine sport, standing up in front of people and giving intimate details of how low they have been, if this doesn’t help to remove the stigma of mental health issues then I don’t know what will!
Listening to them and the examples and they gave will definitely help me to identify when friends, family and colleagues may be struggling. I haven’t stopped talking about it since to anyone who will listen!Gavin Punshon, Quality and Environment Director
Employees, customers and suppliers attended a mental health seminar delivered by “State of Mind”. The charity was first established in Rugby UK Super League in 2011, to raise awareness of mental health issues in the sport. Now the charity delivers its message to a much wider audience, including those in the construction industry, professional sports clubs, education and manufacturing.
Phil Veivers and Danny Sculthorpe delivered a very open and powerful talk about mental health, sharing their experiences in their personal and professional lives. As professional rugby players and coaches, they described their career highs and lows and the impact on their physical and mental wellbeing. Rugby is conventionally thought of as an alpha male environment. The candid sharing by both speakers about spiralling depression helped to break down barriers around mental health, and create an openness around the subject which to many is still taboo.
The audience was given guidance on how to recognise the symptoms associated with mental health and given tips on how to cope with stressful times using recognised techniques that they could practice at home.
Ian Humphries explains more:
The associated stereotypes with Rugby draw parallels to the construction industry, and as a predominantly male audience, we could certainly relate to the content discussed. Over 90% of our workforce is male. Statistics show us that although mental health issues affect a large percentage of the population, the suicide statistics show that men are 3 times more likely to die than women from suicide. It’s therefore vital that we all become more mental health aware and open to the subject
We aim to support our employees in a range of ways and are working hard to create a culture where people feel that they can come forward to talk to us about their mental health. Being able to listen to our employees and to sign post them to the right help has seen us successfully intervene and get people the right help when they need it most. We offer an employee assistance programme which offers a confidential 24/7 helpline for our JIB employees, occupational health referrals, private counselling and seek to raise regular awareness around mental health through monthly health and well-being campaigns which help to sign post employees to assistance including MIND and Calm.
As well as this, people can get involved in sporting activities which helps to look after both their mental and physical health. Our 5-aside football tournament was a great success this year!
In November, we will keep up the momentum with a well-being campaign to support the Movember movement, encouraging as many employees as possible to take part to help raise money to support suicide prevention in the UK.