How Can Tradespeople Support Each Other?
Suicide rates among construction employees in the UK are over three times the national average, so learning how suicide can impact the workplace and raising awareness within organisations about suicide and suicide prevention can be life-saving.
It is important to always be supportive of colleagues and peers. However, you must always be mindful that not everyone will feel comfortable talking about their experiences or struggles. Simply asking “how are you?” could make them uncomfortable. If they find it difficult to talk about their experience it could make matters worse. For example, someone may have lost a loved one and feel uncomfortable talking about their feelings, so they may instead start isolating themself.
It's recommended that any employees or tradespeople suffering with mental or physical health issues devise a return to work action plan. This is a set of guidelines that lays out procedures for dealing with work-related injuries or mental health illnesses. It aims to help individuals ease back into a work environment without feeling overwhelmed.
You might be asking yourself, how can you have these sensitive conversations at work?
It's important to be gentle with the individual when having these kind of conversations., Simply starting a conversation by saying, “I understand that this is difficult, do you want to talk about it?” can make all the difference.
By being authentic and delicate, you will be able to support yourself and others with their mental health without feeding into stigma and shame. Be sure not to assume you know everything about a situation that may be happening. Remember to stay kind, respectful, and compassionate above all else.