Raising awareness of mental health in construction
McLaren teamed up with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust to tackle the stigma behind mental health, a problem that causes the death of 200 construction workers a year. Mersey Care held an event to promote ‘The Big Brew’ campaign, which encourages people getting together over a cuppa to talk about their problems and access services quicker.
In addition to the Big Brew, the Speke site hosted two workshops with the help of Mersey Care, attended by McLaren and subcontractors. The aim of the workshops was to educate people about mental health and identifying the signs of poor mental health and the treatments available.
Neil Rigby, Contracts Director from supply chain partner Hawkspear Contracts Ltd was at the forefront of the day. He openly admits to having suffered with serious mental health issues in the past. He said: “Everybody has got mental health, just as they have physical health. The fact that it’s a little bit invisible is no reason why you should be treated differently from a person with a broken arm or leg.”
McLaren Construction’s Site Manager Stuart McCulloch initially contacted Mersey Care to discuss possible options available in bringing awareness to the site team and to the McLaren supply chain. He commented: “Although no one likes to admit it, I believe everyone suffers from mental health issues at some point, but it is more prominent with the pressures of the construction industry. Working alongside Neil on McLaren projects over the last 3 years has helped me understand it better. The key is in creating a greater awareness and letting everyone know how to deal with stress and pressure before they bottle it up and it spirals out of control. Campaigns like the Big Brew are perfect in letting people know that just a friendly brew and a chat is what can make all the difference”.
Stuart and Neil recently received an award at the British Land Awards for Excellence in the ‘Skills and Opportunity’ category. They were recognised for several initiatives carried out on McLaren projects in the Midlands & North region in which job opportunities where given to both ex-offenders and ex-military.