Mental Health & Wellbeing
The NASC is committed to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting the importance of focusing on employee wellbeing in the workplace. The updates below show what steps the NASC is taking to achieve these goals both within the confederation and our network of members.
NASC Signs Times to Change Employer Pledge
The NASC has joined more than 900 organisations across the country in signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge.
Robin James, NASC Managing Director, signed the pledge on Monday 10 December, further sealing the confederation’s commitment to changing how we think and act about mental health in the workplace.
This commitment forms part of the NASC’s Head for Heights campaign, aimed at changing how mental health is approached and acted upon in the scaffolding industry.
The NASC was inspired to launch this campaign after statistics published earlier this year revealed the scale of mental health issues suffered by people working in the scaffolding and access and wider construction industries – and the fatal consequences they often bring.
Every year more than 400 construction workers commit suicide. Stress, anxiety and depression also account for a fifth of all work-related illnesses.
Additionally, a Construction News ‘Mind Matters’ survey revealed that 55% of respondents had experienced mental health issues and one in four workers had considered taking their life.
The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity also revealed that demand for its range of support services was rising and that more than 18% of those it provided financial assistance to were scaffolders and roofers.
Robin James said: “Mental health is a huge issue in the scaffolding and access industry but sadly one that often goes by without notice. By signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge we’re doing our bit to raise awareness of the need to change attitudes towards mental health and wellbeing in the industry.
“As the voice of the scaffolding industry, we encourage other scaffolding industry companies to follow suit.”
Des Moore, NASC President and CEO of TRAD Group, which has also signed the pledge, added: “It’s crucial that we shine a greater spotlight on mental health and wellbeing in our industry and encourage more people to speak out without stigma or prejudice if they feel like they need support.
“A broken bone is obvious. However, an individual can easily hide a mental health problem. This is a safety risk factor not just for them, but also their teammates working in a dynamic but also – as we all know – very demanding environment.”
NASC Signs Building Mental Health Charter
The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation is proud to have signed the Building Mental Health Charter as part of its ongoing drive to promote positive mental health practices.
By signing the Charter, the NASC has pledged to provide awareness and understanding of the impact of poor mental ill health to our workforce as well as our 250+ members and provide assistance to signpost workers to support in their communities.
The NASC is keen to raise awareness of the need for greater mental health support and guidance in the scaffolding industry and wider construction sector and is currently developing a mental health policy guide, which will be made available to members in the New Year.
NASC Launches Head for Heights Campaign
The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation has today launched its Head for Heights campaign, aimed at changing how mental health is approached and acted upon in the scaffolding industry.
The campaign will see the NASC attempt to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and wellbeing and raise awareness of the simple steps companies can take to introduce a proactive approach to tackling these issues in a sensitive manner – and the positive impact this can have.
As part of the Head for Heights initiative, the NASC will sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge, a growing social movement established to end mental health discrimination, and is urging NASC members to follow suit.
According to Time to Change, one in four people experience a mental health problem every year and half of those affected say that the associated isolation and shame is worse than the condition itself.
Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to launch our Head for Heights campaign and also sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge, demonstrating our commitment to addressing how mental health is viewed in the industry.
“There is a stigma surrounding mental health, one that is felt particularly keenly in a male-dominated industry such as scaffolding and access. That’s why we’re so keen to support people and help them find the confidence to speak up, and also support businesses looking to step up their mental health and wellbeing support.”
To find out more about Time to Change and to sign the Employer Pledge click here.
NASC President Calls for Construction Industry to Embrace Mental Health Support
TRAD Group CEO and NASC President has spoken about the mental breakdown he suffered as a 26-year-old and the lessons construction can learn from experiences like his.
In an interview with Construction News, Mr Moore said: “For at least a month, there were days I just wouldn’t get out of bed and try to face the day. The only reason I got through it as I did is because my wife Debbie fully supported me and managed to get me through it.”
For a long time, only a handful of people knew about this period of his life because, in construction, you just don’t talk about this sort of thing – especially if you’re ambitious.
“I kept it to myself because I think it was always [the case] – and still is now – that people would actually perceive it as being a weakness, and a barrier to you being promoted to a senior position where you end up with a greater level of responsibility,” he explains.
“In fairness, I probably haven’t felt like that for the last 10 years.”
Mr Moore became president of the NASC in 2017 and decided the time was right to help reverse the idea that mental health is not something you talk about in construction.
“I felt it would be appropriate given that I am president of the NASC and it’s a big industry issue,” he says. “I have got to this position and I had a serious mental health incident many years ago – it hasn’t stopped me.”
Speaking about how businesses across the industry should establish support structures, Mr Moore said: “It needs to be something taken on board by the CEO and the senior people, getting all the staff involved, and it needs to be something for their individual company.
“It should just be something you’re doing on a consistent basis because, ultimately, it’s just good business. That’s it.”
To read the interview in full click here.