Wates Group has partnered with a specialist charity to train almost 400 staff and people in local communities to prevent suicide among young people.
The initiative aims to tackle suicide in the construction industry. According to the Office for National Statistics, this is at its highest level ever, with around two people taking their life every working day.
Wates will be working with Papyrus, a national charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health in people aged 35 and under. Suicide is the biggest killer of people in this age group in the UK, according to the charity.
A total of 90 employees at Wates will receive training to become charity champions. In addition, Wates will offer suicide intervention skills training to 300 people in the local communities where it works.
Raising awareness about mental health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this week (15 to 21 May) marks Mental Health Awareness Week, a national campaign aimed at tackling prevailing social stigmas surrounding mental health and helping people and organisations deal positively with the issue.
According to a recent study by charity Mates in Mind, more than two-thirds of construction workers believe there is a stigma surrounding mental health which stops them from talking about it.
A giant mural made from 687 high-vis vests – the average number of skilled trade workers who died by suicide between 2019 and 2021 – is on display all week at a Galliford Try building site in London’s West End to raise awareness of mental health in construction.
National framework provider Pagabo is now including mental health provisions in its construction contracts to help normalise conversations around mental wellbeing.
Commenting on the partnership with Papyrus, Wates Group chief executive, Eoghan O’Lionaird, said: “The statistics on suicide in our industry are devastating, and it’s a cause everyone at Wates cares deeply about, as they demonstrated when selecting Papyrus to become our next charity partner.
“As employers, we not only feel a responsibility to address the issue of suicide within our industry, we are also committed to supporting the communities where we work, to do more to promote wellbeing among young people, and to stop these numbers from continuing to rise.”
For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice, contact HOPELINE247 on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email email@example.com