PEOPLE & CULTURE: Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems. It seeks to inspire the action to promote the message of good mental health for everyone. The Mental Health Foundation have organised Mental Health Awareness Week for the past 21 years and this year’s event runs from 9-15 May, with the 2022 theme being ‘loneliness’.
Construction can be a rewarding and varied industry to work in, but it is also one where pressures can be high, and people may be more likely to experience work-related stress and other mental health issues. The following quote from Building Mental Health helps provide some context:
"Every working day, two construction workers take their own life. We have to educate everyone in our industry to recognise the signs and symptoms of our colleagues that are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression and start the conversation to assist in their recovery."
Earlier this year, and with support from the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, McGowan signed-up to the Building Mental Health Charter and made a clear commitment to help raise greater awareness of mental health matters across our company and supply chain. Ross Smith (Director) commented:
“We have pledged to adopt the various principles outlined in the Charter and are delighted to confirm that eight volunteers have registered to attend a 1-day First Aid for Mental Health course which is being held at our Aviemore headquarters on Friday 13 May. The FAA Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health (RQF) will provide attendees with the knowledge to identify suspected mental health conditions as well as providing advice on starting a conversation.”
In the sixth instalment of our ‘Meet McGowan’ series, and in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, we would like to introduce Team Leader and Mental Health First Aid Supervisor, Jamie Curran.
Jamie (pictured) joined McGowan in October 2019 and currently has a dual role within the company. Prior to McGowan, Jamie served in the Royal Marines for 28 years and achieved Warrant Officer rank, spending much of his time in front-line operations which included active involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was during a particular trip to Afghanistan that Jamie saw the need and benefit of the Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) system, including how it helped the Royal Marines come to terms with events and supported them going forward. He later became a TRiM Manager and was part of the team offering support to the returning unit (and their families) as they adjusted back into everyday life. Jamie said:
“I’ve had first-hand experience of the role proactive mental health support can play. It's important for all organisations to have the correct processes and procedures in place to support personnel and at McGowan we’ve made great progress in raising awareness of mental health through Toolbox Talks and other initiatives.”
Jamie went on to add:
“McGowan is still a relatively young company, but it has grown rapidly which does create new challenges and expectations across the business, particularly with an ever-increasing workforce! I’ve enjoyed watching the company and its culture develop in recent years and take great pride in my role helping to build our mental health support system, which in itself is recognition of how far McGowan has come.”
After working overseas for many years Jamie is delighted to have settled in the Highlands with his wife Sharon and children Ben, Aimee and Ruby. Jamie started as a Plant Operator with McGowan and was promoted to Team Leader in 2021. He continues to be involved in a number of different projects which means he still gets to travel but the work-life balance is a lot better. Jamie said:
“McGowan is a brilliant company and it’s great to work with professional people who always give 100%. The work we do is varied which keeps things interesting and being involved in environmental projects is very rewarding, particularly when there is so much emphasis on fighting climate change and supporting nature. There is certainly a strong family feeling within the team and we really do look out for each other.”