A quarter of UK employees can’t talk to bosses about mental health

Employers need to do more to safeguard workers in male-led industries. This is according to Lanes Group, the leading wastewater utility solutions provider and largest independent drainage specialist in the UK.

Mental wellbeing has been on the agenda for many businesses around the world in recent years, but Lanes Group believe that much of the advice being presented isn’t suited for getting men to talk about their issues.

Data from the Office of National Statistics indicated that among males, tradesmen and labourers may be at an elevated risk of severe mental health issues, with male site workers in construction three times more likely to commit suicide than the average British male.

Lanes Group, who have previously won awards for their innovative approach towards the wellbeing of their 2,200 employees, have created a whitepaper to alert people to the challenges of mental wellness in the drainage and construction sectors.

The new 18-page whitepaper highlights the current state of mental health issues among UK workforces and the main causes of workplace stress. It aims to educate employers on what they can do to encourage a better dialogue with employees who traditionally don’t like talking about their feelings.

Debi Bell, Head of HR Services and Mental Health First Aider for Lanes Group said:

“It’s great that so many businesses are realising how important it is to keep employees mentally well, as well as ensuring they’re physically well. However, a lot of the information given out is very general and while it’s not wrong, we believe that we can do more by tailoring our approach to our people.

“Traditionally, men have been made to feel like it’s not okay to talk about their feelings, and gender stereotypes can lead to some putting themselves in physical danger to show off. As 86% of our workforce is made up of men, we’ve had to consider ways of working that encourage men to talk and enable them to seek help if they feel the need.

“We’ve done this by using an app-based system that asks employees to rate their mood at different times of the day. We then review that information and check in with employees who seem to be unhappy.

“Since the app was introduced, the number of colleagues who record being unhappy or very unhappy has fallen from 8% to just over 1%, and the scheme has won a Utility Week Award and a Water Industry Achievement Award for its impact.

“As well as the app, we’ve also recently become the first service provider in the water utility industry to support staff by using trauma risk management (TRiM).”

The whitepaper also include statistics from a recent Lanes Group survey of 1,047 British workers.

To find out more and download the whitepaper, visit https://careers.lanesgroup.com/news/download-mental-wellbeing-uk-whitepaper

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