We’re passionate about our fantastic internal culture at Gratte Brothers and as such, we run regular wellbeing weeks within the company to raise awareness of important issues. From the 23rd – 27th May 2022, we ran Mental Wellbeing Week to highlight the importance of looking after your mental health, whether you’ve never had a bad day in your life, or have more bad days than good.
In the building services industry, best-practice protocols have long-since been in place to protect the physical wellbeing of professionals, mental wellbeing, however is a relatively new consideration. With suicide being the biggest killer in the construction industry (way ahead of site accidents) we understand the vital need for conversations and processes around mental wellbeing to be championed throughout our business and the wider industry in general. As Health and Safety is a top priority throughout every inch of our business here at Gratte Brothers, we wanted to use our platform to catalyse conversations around mental health.
The week saw a 5-day focus on the topic of mental wellbeing. Every day, we covered a different topic related to mental wellbeing including; financial wellbeing, burnout, internal support available, and recommended resources.
In case you missed it, here are the key takeaways from the week:
Research from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has found that poor financial wellbeing can have a direct detrimental effect on an individual’s mental health, producing physical and psychological symptoms such as loss of sleep, poor concentration and reduced motivation.
The cost of living crisis means that many more are likely to be struggling to maintain a decent standard of living, which may have an effect on mental wellbeing. Whilst we are unable to provide financial advice directly, we would recommend anyone who may be affected to seek advice and support. There are a number of incredibly helpful free resources that can support you and provide further information.
- Money Advice Service
- Step Change
- The Money and Pensions Service
- Find an Advisor
- Vouched For
Factors such as financial difficulties, fears over job security, feeling isolated and having too many responsibilities in your professional or private life were all recognised as major contributors to burnout and was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic blurring the boundaries between work and home life.
Common symptoms of burnout are physical, mental and behavioural:
- Physical: feeling tired and drained most of the time, frequent headaches or muscle pains, changes in sleeping habits.
- Mental: sense of failure/self-doubt, loss of motivation, detachment, decreased sense of satisfaction.
- Behavioural: procrastinating, taking longer to get tasks completed, withdrawing from responsibilities, having a negative or cynical view.
Unfortunately, there is no one singular cure for burnout. But, spot the red flags early on and focus on slowing down wherever you can. If you can, try to assess the cause of your burnout. If it’s work-related, speak to your line manager about receiving extra support. If it’s caused by a stressor in your personal life, make sure you’re scheduling (and protecting) time for yourself, your hobbies and enough sleep.
It’s good to talk about it if you are struggling. We would recommend in the first instance approaching your GP but you can also speak to your Line Manager or one of Gratte Brothers’ Mental Health First Aiders. Don’t forget that HR and other exclusive employee programmes are also there to support you.
Internal Support Available:
Across the business, we’re proud to have specially-trained Mental Health First Aiders on hand for confidential conversations at any time. No one needs to suffer in silence, whether it be a personal or work-related issue: a totally sympathetic response is guaranteed.
As part of our standard benefits package, Gratte employees and their families are entitled to a set number of free counselling sessions per year via a third party who guarantee all information remains confidential. We don’t even need to know that these sessions have been booked.
- Get Self Help
- Mates in Mind
- Anxiety UK
- The Silver Line
- Prevention of Young Suicide
- Construction Industry Helpline
- Workplace Mental Health Support Service
Reaching out for help with your mental wellbeing is completely normal and can be vital to recovery. Please don’t suffer in silence: talk to someone, use any one of the free resources available to you, and above all, take care of yourself.