The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has pledged its support to Mates in Mind, a charity committed to raising awareness, addressing the stigma of poor mental health and promoting positive mental wellbeing across workplaces.
By partnering with UKATA, Mates in Mind hopes to reach even more self-employed construction workers, helping it achieve its target of reaching 75% of the construction industry by 2025.
Research suggests that around 350,000 people in the UK construction industry (1 in 6 workers) are experiencing depression, anxiety or stress. A 2017 ONS study found that, in England, the risk of suicide among low-skilled male labourers, particularly those working in construction roles, was three times higher than the male national average.
UKATA now joins fellow Supporters Mineral Products Association, Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try, Tideway and Tarmac who, together, are committed to driving change across the industry by engaging with their customers, members and colleagues by reinforcing the importance of wellbeing, and how they can address this within their organisations.
Recheal Valderama, Support Manager for Mates in Mind, said: “UKATA will play an instrumental role in reaching out to organisations who want and need to address mental health within their own business and the wider industry. By working together, we will better understand the needs of the asbestos removal industry and ensure they are supported when they are ready.
“We are doing this by working collaboratively with organisations. We learn to understand their needs, to then evaluate and prioritise any gaps and tailor a programme that fits the needs of the organisation and their people. We provide ongoing support throughout their journey and provide the clarity and confidence to understand what they want to achieve and how to do this, as well as reassurance that they are benchmarking to best practice.”
Thousands of workers in construction and associated industries throughout the UK undertake UKATA approved asbestos awareness training every year.
Craig Evans, UKATA Chief Operating Officer explained: “It made absolute sense for UKATA to support Mates in Mind and we are delighted to be involved. Asbestos and mental health are both invisible killers but the risk of both can be managed through raising awareness.
“Through our member network of trainers, we will actively encourage conversations in the workplace about mental health – opening up opportunities for employees and employers to access support and information where its required.”
Mates in Mind was established by the Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) with the support of the British Safety Council in September 2016.
To learn more about Mates in Mind visit MatesinMind.org.