Property and infrastructure organisation Lendlease has introduced a mental health awareness training programme for all new employees.
The programme, which is accredited by Mental Health First Aid England, is aimed at helping participants to look after their mental health, relate to others and support those coping with mental ill health.
The first aiders are trained to spot the early signs of mental health problems and to signpost those who require assistance to the appropriate person or support service.
The programme, which launched on 22 January, also enables participants to identify stigma and discrimination around mental health issues, and to better understand what mental health is.
More than 200 mental health first aiders have been trained so far.
The initiative forms part of Lendlease’s commitment to supporting the mental wellbeing of its 1,300 UK employees.
The organisation has signed up for the Time for Change pledge and supports Time to Talk Day (4 February).
Martin Coyd, regional head of environment, health and safety in Europe at Lendlease, said: “The [construction] industry is rightly focused on preventing physical injuries at construction sites, but the same respect needs to be shown to mental health issues. We estimate that there are in the region of 180 suicides per year and that means people working in construction are almost six times more likely to die from suicide, as a result of depression, than an accident at work.
“We are determined to take a stand on mental health, and we’re proud to be the first organisation in our industry to sign the Time for Change pledge and support Time to Talk Day.”