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BWB Sign Pledge to End Mental Health Discrimination

08 November 2017

BWB have signed the ‘Time to Change’ Employer Pledge this week to support the end of mental health discrimination in the workplace.  The initiative is led by Mind, BWB’s national charity of the year, and Rethink Mental Illness.

Signing the pledge means that BWB have joined a growing movement of more than 500 employers in England from FTSE 100 companies and leading retailers to Government departments and local authorities.  Our shared goal is to end the stigma of mental health in the workplace and, in turn, improve attendance, wellbeing, productivity and retention. 

BWB have an action plan in place which was developed by our HR and Business Improvement Teams to ensure that we have ongoing leadership buy-in to this important area. 

Throughout the last few months, BWB have shared information with their people on a range of mental health topics in each office.  Line managers have been trained in how to identify mental health issues and hold constructive conversations with their teams.  The company have also held a number of fun and healthy fundraising events for their national charity, Mind.  These have included an indoor cycle challenge, charity fun runs across the UK and a 10,000 mile virtual walk to Sydney. 

In addition to this, employees have started sharing their own experiences of mental health and HR have reviewed how the company can best respond to people reporting an issue.

BWB’s action plan is published on our intranet pages so all staff can access it at any time and a recent charity newsletter has been shared to show the action plan and fundraising progress.  

Steve Wooler, Chief Executive said “In September, Construction News revealed shocking mental health stats for the Construction Industry.  73 per cent of respondents felt their employers did not recognise the early signs of mental health problems and a quarter of workers are considering changing their careers in the next 12 months. 

Mental wellbeing is vital to the welfare of our people, their productivity and their retention in the construction and property development industries.  We’d like to normalise conversations about mental health at BWB so that people know they have support from their colleagues and their manager when they need it.” 

Elizabeth Hardwick-Smith, Head of HR said: “In signing the pledge, we wanted to show BWB’s commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in our company.  We looked at our practices and considered how we could better support our people who are facing these problems. The pledge and action plan support our wellbeing and equality & diversity goals in ensuring that we continue to be inclusive and support everyone in being the best they can be, no matter what they are experiencing.“

So far feedback and participation has been very positive.  BWB have more in the pipeline including personal resilience workshops for employees and further feel-good fundraising events.