At Aptus Utilities we take the mental health and wellbeing of our employees as seriously as their physical health and safety. World Mental Health Day on 10th October is an opportunity to remind everyone of the help available and to encourage people to reach out if they are struggling, or if they are concerned about someone who is.
The pandemic has sharpened the collective focus on mental health and here at Aptus we are no different and are committed to ensuring that our team knows where to turn to for support.
Natasha Clarke, Aptus People Director, said: “Our people are the main reason that we are so successful, and it is paramount that we look after our colleagues’ physical, mental and financial wellbeing to ensure we create a healthy and happy workplace.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, it became even more apparent that mental health and wellbeing needed to be a key focus for the business, so we launched the Aptus Wellbeing Campaign. This aims to raise awareness around topics such as a healthy lifestyle and managing stress, with a strong focus on mental health.
“We aim to ensure that the information we provide on each topic is relevant, up-to-date and provides a wealth of materials for people to do their own research should they wish to, and we try to make this as accessible and engaging as possible.”
In addition to these resources Aptus offers an Employee Assistance Programme for those who need it, which includes an independent, confidential 24-hour helpline, available to all staff and their families, as well as the option of private counselling, should this be required.
Over the last three years. Aptus has concentrated on upskilling staff in mental health awareness. This includes ensuring there is someone in each of our regional depots who is trained as a Mental Health First Aider as well as offering online Mental Health awareness training to any member of staff who wants it.
This year we also made the decision to train all of our senior management team to be Mental Health First Aiders.
“We now have 15 fully qualified First Aiders across the business with four more booked to complete their training with Mental Health First Aid England shortly,” says Natasha.
“We recognise that the long-term effects of COVID-19 will affect our people in multiple areas, and we want to ensure that as a business, we are well equipped to provide the support required.”
You can read more about why mental health matters at Aptus in our Q&A with Natasha
Earlier this year Aptus underlined its commitment to promoting good mental health within the industry by signing The Building Mental Health Charter (BMH). The charter, which has been established by organisations across the industry, aims to provide a flexible and consistent framework that will enable all parts of the construction sector to access mental health support. The charter encourages the industry to engage in and embrace the mental health agenda by raising awareness, offering training, and putting in place a structure and systems to support people working in and around our industry.
Signing up to The Building Mental Health Charter is a way for construction organisations to demonstrate their commitment to promoting awareness and understanding of mental health, lowering stigma and supporting employees. You can find out more and sign up here.
The Lighthouse Club Construction Industry Charity was instrumental in establishing the BMH and provides emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families.
Their ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat’ campaign aims to raise awareness of poor mental health within the industry and provides a range of free support and resources. You can contact them 24/7 on their helpline at: 0345 6051956 Or download the Construction Industry Helpline App for free here.
They also offer free construction focused training programmes ranging from hour-long interactive wellbeing sessions through to the MHFA England approved Mental Health First Aider course. Find out more here.
Samaritans or call: 116 123 24/
Mind or call 0300 123 3393 / text 86463
NHS – find information and support for your mental health
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) or call: 0800 58 58 58. Open 365 days a year, 5pm until midnight
Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide) or call 0800 068 41 41 / Text: 07786209697 10am-10pm weekdays, 2pm-10pm weekends, 2pm-10pm Bank Holidays
The Mix – provides free, confidential support for young people under 25