Mental Health in Construction

Carl Gough on January 9, 2022

CARGO® is Challenging and Changing the Culture. 

Breaking the silence over mental health in construction.

At CARGO® we are breaking the silence around mental health in the construction industry by shining a light on the importance of talking!

Cargo Team at Cobalt Project


LET’S TALK ABOUT IT…

OUR COMMITMENT
We take our responsibility as employers very seriously.
We’re here to provide the right support and pathways for our employees, and to create opportunities for meaningful conversations where we can begin to tackle the issue of mental health in the construction industry head-on.


Men at Work Mental Health Sign

PEOPLE ARE OUR PRIORITY.

People have always been at the centre of our business – did you know that’s why we have the person/mannequin in our branding?

From our employees and our contractors to our customers (and even in our office design), people are our priority. Keeping everyone healthy, happy and safe at work is something we take pride in.


BREAKING THE SILENCE.

Mental health in the construction industry is a topic that’s very rarely discussed.
This ends now.

Mental Health in Construction

Physical health and safety are given the most attention in the construction industry, but the fact that suicide kills more people than falls from height means that we have a duty of care to break the silence around mental health in our industry.

Working in the construction industry is challenging; with typically demanding hours, a lot of time working away from home and general uncertainty around COVID-19 to boot.

To make things worse, the bulk of the construction industry workforce is male which means special considerations need to be made to meet the challenging demands of men’s mental health. Classically the construction industry has been home to toxic masculinity and the ‘tough guy’ image, leading to many people suffering in silence. We won’t stand for that.


WHAT WE’RE DOING:

chat over coffee

1. Support from the start, and always.

CARGO’s culture is to support and empower our people, with a zero-tolerance approach to any stigma surrounding mental health.
From the first hello, we are invested in the well-being of all of our colleagues and contractors across all of our sites. Everyone is required to participate in a detailed site induction about keeping safe on-site; which includes detailed information about the mental health support available to them.

“We chose to work with CARGO® for our office fit-out because it was evident from the very first meeting that we shared the same values.
As a firm, we take the wellbeing of our team very seriously, so it was an obvious choice for us to work with a contractor that genuinely cares and understands the importance of investing in their own people. CARGO® go above and beyond in everything they do, and it’s this type of proactive approach towards mental health that sets them apart from the rest.” – James Slatter | COBALT Enterprises
2. Mental Health First Aider on site

Having a dedicated and specially trained Mental Health First Aider available to our teams is imperative to their welfare and keeping them safe on-site.

Meet Kyle Hall | Mental Health First Aider and Senior Site Manager

Kyle Hall, Mental Health First Aider

Kyle Hall with his training and experience make him a key part of our organisation’s overall health and wellbeing strategy. Kyle is not only our Senior Site Manager but also the go-to guy for discussions around mental health as our on-site mental health first aider. Kyle is trained to identify and support people who are struggling with their mental health and help them with a proactive head-on approach. 

“Working at CARGO has really opened my eyes to the importance of creating a culture where guys feel comfortable to talk about their mental health and open up about something that they may be struggling with. As Mental Health First Aider it’s my job to promote positive mental health on all of our sites and provide a safe and comfortable environment for people to speak openly should they need to. There are plenty of different types of support we offer and advice we can give to help our colleagues to access the support that they may need to feel better.” – Kyle Hall

3. Specifically designed site offices to promote workplace community and rest

CARGO Site Office

Our site offices are specially designed as a space for people to come together and create a workplace community. Simply having a space to meet with colleagues, rest up and have some lunch together can make all the difference to combat loneliness and isolation at work.
Our site offices are also a hub of information for all safety concerns including mental health.

4. Dedicated safe space for talking privately one-to-one

Each of our sites has a dedicated safe space for private chats with our dedicated mental health first aider. This safe space encourages discussions as an outlet to ensure no one needs to suffer in silence.

5. Safety signs specifically regarding mental health

Safety signs are a staple of every construction workplace. We’ve taken our responsibility one step further with signs and posters regarding mental health safety throughout our sites to remind everyone to check in with themselves and where to find support.

6. Hydration stations

We’re brining back the water fountain! The simple water fountain is a powerful tool to combat depression and anxiety. At our sites we make sure to have hydration stations in place to encourage our teams to drink more water to improve mental health – and here’s how it works:

Keep hydrated for Mental Health

Research has shown that people who are better hydrated and drink more plain water are less likely to suffer with depression or anxiety by 50%! By simply keeping hydrated you can reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as improving general cognitive function.

Water fountains encourage our teams to take a moment to rest and hydrate, as well as having a chat with colleagues – all great ways to combat mental health issues.


GOING FORWARD…

CARGO® will continue to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace, encouraging and actioning change in response to the latest research to be pioneers in the transformation of health and safety in the workplace.


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