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Mental Health Support Programme

The construction industry is known to be a high pressure environment due to the combination of long hours, time critical deadlines and the need to work away from home exacerbating stress levels that often result in people struggling with their mental health. 

As a male dominated industry, there is also a culture that can prevent people from seeking support due to embarrassment or a feeling that they should be able to cope on their own. These factors go some way to explain why the number of people working in construction and suffering from mental health illness is much higher than the national average.

Residents at the HOST run campuses in Somerset are contractors working on the EDF Energy Hinkley Point C (HPC) construction project near Bridgwater in Somerset, many of whom are employed on the project on a long term basis. As the campuses provide their home away from home, it is essential that we do everything we can to provide access to help and support for anyone finding it hard to cope. 

We have committed to a number of initiatives that we believe will help raise awareness and address some of the stigma of mental health issues whilst providing much needed support for the residents living on the HOST campuses.

For Residents
In each of our guest bedrooms there is a directory that provides contact information for a range of local and national helplines including the Samaritans, Alcoholics Anonymous and Mind. 

In addition, guests can contact the HOST Chaplain and arrange to meet with him for face to face support during his weekly visits to the campuses.

Our assistance programme also operates a Mental Health Buddy scheme as well as having dedicated Mental Health Officers that our guests can reach out to.

Guest communications via email and text message provide regular reminders of the support that is available as well as offering information on the wealth of sports and leisure activities on offer at the campuses.

Wellbeing Areas
From guest feedback, we knew that people were keen to have spaces available to them that weren’t part of either a restaurant or bar area. Taking this on board, in early 2023 HOST developed a wellbeing area at each campus where residents can meet in a quiet, relaxing space and take advantage of the facilities on offer.

Each space has been designed to be a sanctuary providing comfy seating, a soft colour palette and lots of resources such as books and leaflets that promote wellbeing. Drawing on themes of positive thinking and self help, all the resources are free to use for our guests. There are also board games and some health tools such as blood pressure monitors and weight machines.

For Our Team
We recognise that a happy and healthy team is a productive team so mental health support for our team is a priority for HOST.  We want our employees to reach their highest potential and to flourish in their roles and know that helping people to manage stress will boost their resilience in the longer term.

In addition to the standard employee assistance programmes that we run, we have put an increasing focus on mental health awareness in recent times. Initiatives such as worry trees and happy jars have been implemented and have received excellent feedback. 

We also have a continuous programme of activities for our teams to participate in which helps boost morale and reiterate the belief that ‘we’re all in this together’. So far this year we have hosted cake baking and photo competitions, rounders matches, quizzes and ‘learn a language’ courses.

According to recent research undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Building, stress, anxiety and depression account for around 20% of all work-related illnesses, resulting in 70 million sick days per year at an estimated annual cost of £70bn-£100bn.

As employers, we understand that it is crucial to raise awareness and understanding of the mental health issues that are prevalent in the workplace and provide the necessary support for our teams. At HOST we are committed to promoting a healthy workplace where everyone can thrive.

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