Members of Tideway's senior leadership team have been talking about the importance of the “In your corner” campaign in helping to address poor mental health in the construction industry.
Tideway CEO, Andy Mitchell, and Programme Director, Andy Alder, spoke on the great strides Tideway continues to make in changing attitudes towards mental health. Both are in the unique position of being among the recently appointed mental health first aiders that now sit across the entirety of the super sewer project.
“I’m proud to be among the 167 mental health first aiders we now have across the project, who are trained to be able to support and empower their colleagues to talk about their mental health”, Andy Mitchell said.
The “In your corner” campaign is a key component of Tideway’s commitment towards reversing the historical taboo around mental health.
“The importance of a campaign like this cannot be overstated”, Andy explains, “This is a vital step towards our aim of transforming attitudes toward mental health, both at Tideway and on the projects of the future.”
He emphasised the significance of the high number of Tideway staff involved in the initiative, “Seeing so many of us step forward to help tackle this issue head on is proof of how hard we’re working to break down barriers to communication within the construction industry. To know my colleagues are there to offer support during more challenging times, and for me to be able to do the same, is hugely reassuring.”
As Programme Director, Andy Alder knows how working on projects with the size and scope of Tideway is a privilege, but one that provides substantial challenges every day and shouldn’t come with a cost to our mental welfare.
“We’re all part of this amazing project” he says, “but sometimes the challenges of construction projects like this can be tough – especially when we all have other pressures and stresses outside of work. This is why it’s so important to look out for our friends and colleagues, and simply ask "are you okay?" if you think they might need support. That’s why I’m very happy to be a Mental Health First Aider’.”
A key principle of the campaign is of communication – being open to communication is vital for the prolonged mental health of everyone. A sentiment that Andy Alder repeats: “Talking about how we feel isn’t a sign of weakness – in fact it’s really important to keeping us healthy and strong.”