IN RESPONSE to calls to improve the construction sector’s poor mental health record, leading multi-disciplinary property consultancy EDGE has implemented an industry-leading mental health and wellbeing policy for its employees.
Understanding that mental health is not a one-size-fits-all approach, the company’s policy is a wide-ranging framework that includes a personal Wellness Action Plans (WAPs), access to a Vitality Mental Health portal, and additional signposting for external advice.
The policy was written into employment contracts in December and fine-tuned in partnership with the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot led by Coventry and Derby Universities, with its Mental Health at Work Commitment acting as a roadmap for change.
Thomas Hunt, cost manager and mental health lead at EDGE, said: “We know that our people are our most valuable resource. Their wellbeing is vital to effective performance both at work and as part of our positive workplace culture, meaning the implementation of a more robust mental health and wellbeing policy was a natural step for us.
“There seems to be a lack of education around mental health as the topic is perceived negatively – as an inconvenience, an illness, depression, or stress – but everyone has mental health. We need to shift the focus onto how to better yourself and maintain positive emotions, and which support and management techniques can be used to help us achieve this in our everyday lives.”
In order to increase provisions for a rapidly expanding workforce across multiple locations, EDGE has also trained a further four employees as Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) to meet its goal of having at least one MHFA per office across the company’s five locations.
Kieran O’Donoghue, director at EDGE, added: “The statistics show that suicides in construction are rising at an alarming rate. This is a disturbing fact that we wanted to address. We appreciate that no policy is perfect – but we hope that in talking about our policy, awareness of the issue will be raised throughout the industry.
“We hope that with our new Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy, along with our sociable culture, and commitment to caring for our employees, our workforce understands that we are there should they need us, and that those experiencing mental health issues are supported with respect, confidentiality and without discrimination.”
For more information on EDGE and its services, follow the link below: https://www.edgeps.co.uk/
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