Mental health top of the agenda at CEMEX
New Health Essentials highlight the importance of staying fit and healthy and preventing stress
MENTAL health is an issue that is very much in the news at the moment, and is one of the 12 topics in CEMEX’s new Health Essentials.
It is estimated that, in the construction industry, some 400,000 days are lost each year to work-related stress, anxiety and depression, and in CEMEX this relates to around 15% of all absences.
The company’s new Health Essentials highlight the importance of staying fit and healthy, with ‘preventing stress’ being the current topic of discussion among staff.
On 18 April, as part of CECA’s Stop. Make a Change campaign, CEMEX focused on the topic of mental health, and the company has also introduced a training programme for staff to become mental health first-aiders.
‘To date, 29 colleagues have attended the two-day course and 19 have attended the Lite course run by MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England, and this is just the beginning,’ said CEMEX’s health and safety director, Andy Taylor.
‘As we would with a physical injury, we want colleagues who may be suffering with mental health issues to be helped back to full health.
‘In safety, we ask colleagues to step in and make a difference, and so it is with mental health. We want everyone to keep an eye out for each other.’
Hayden Gill, operations manager at CEMEX’s largest quarry – Dove Holes, in Derbyshire – echoed Mr Taylor’s sentiments.
Mr Gill, who will soon be going on the MHFA course himself, asked his colleagues at a presentation on Mental Health to ‘Keep an eye out for your mates, don’t just go down the pub, get leathered and ignore it. Talk!’
It is thought that one way to combat stress is through exercise, and this year’s May Day bank holiday saw the start of the CEMEX Pedometer challenge, which encourages staff to get active and take more steps.
2017 is the fourth year of the challenge, which runs for four weeks until the end of May. In the past, CEMEX workers have taken enough steps to walk around the world.