Supporting mental health in construction

By Deeley Group’s Mental Health Ambassadors

We pride ourselves on being a true family business and that means being there to support each other through life’s challenges, whether they are professional or personal.

This is embedded in the Deeley Group values and while it has always been central to what we do, over the last year we have started to implement more processes to ensure staff at every level of the business feel supported.

Each year we host a full company forum meeting at George House to provide updates from across the business, with staff from our construction sites and office all joining together for the event.

This year we welcomed Liam Colebrook to speak to our staff about his lived experience of mental health challenges and gambling addiction.

It followed the introduction of a new mental health committee being introduced at Deeley Group, with staff as ambassadors for mental health awareness and providing training for mental health first aid programmes.

Recent studies have highlighted the hidden struggles of workers’ mental health in the construction industry.

Our ambassadors are now working to ensure that all members of the team are supported, aware of the support and resources we have available and feel comfortable to speak if they are struggling.

Keith Galletly, Group Health and Safety Manager, heads the committee and has worked with the business for four years.

He said: “We want to foster a culture that is open, where people feel safe and secure to openly talk, raise issues and not feel it will negatively impact their career in any way.

“I choose to work here because of the high standards here for health and safety, mental health and wellbeing. The standards at Deeley are what other companies should aspire to.

“It’s something which is driven from the very top and that is reflected with Eleanor Deeley being part of the mental health group.”

The mental health ambassador group reflects all areas of the business, with site staff, office staff, and male and female colleagues.

Lily Chedgey, PR & Marketing Coordinator, has been with the business for more than a year and described the culture as one of ‘respect.’

“There is a lot of support towards personal development and progression and I feel that my opinions are always acknowledged and valued,” she said.

“We have a Health and Safety committee, a Social Committee that focus on making work better and improving the social working dynamic and a Mental Health committee that work on providing valuable mental health support for the whole team.

“We also have access to a range of services including free counselling sessions, a 24/7 online GP, wellbeing and healthy living support and financial and legal wellbeing support.

“All senior management have been Mental Health First Aid trained, and we have seven Mental Health Ambassadors that are available to anyone in the team that wants to talk or needs support.”

Jack McQuillan, trainee site manager, has been with the business for three years, while Marc Neville, site manager, has worked for Deeley Construction since 2006.

Marc said: “Personally I have suffered with mental health. Out on site it can be quite a high-pressured environment, I think for me it was anxiety.

“The company has always been very supportive, and even though mental health is far more recognised now, Deeley Group has always been ahead of the curve.

“You can pick up the phone at any time to the directors and they will talk to you, they want to help and make sure you are okay.”

Jack added: “I have to deal with work and university work, which is a different mental challenge and a challenge that faces a lot of young people at the start of their career.

“This is a company that has proved it is supportive for young people, the culture is incredibly positive and we are hoping to build on that with the work of the mental health committee.”

Find out more about Deeley Group’s work to support staff: https://deeley.co.uk/community/make-work-better