As part of our commitment to breaking the silence surrounding mental ill-health and suicide within the construction industry this Stress Awareness Month 2022, we are resharing Chris' story which we released last year.
Through Chris' story, we called on organisations within the construction and related sectors, to commit to installing long term change within their businesses to not only ensure a healthier and safer workplace environment for their employees, but also to help change the wider industry culture around workplace stress.
To support the launch of the campaign, we released a short video, created in partnership with the family of Chris, a 30- year veteran of the construction industry and a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. In 2019, Chris suffered a mental health crisis brought on by severe stress, which developed at rapid speed and had catastrophic consequences.
By sharing Chris’s story, we raised vital awareness of the very real impact that workplace stress can have on our lives and the importance of recognising the signs that someone might be struggling with the video being viewed 70,000 times.
One Year On
Michelle, Chris' wife reflects on the impact of the Chris' story campaign.
"Looking back a year ago to when we did the film with Mates In Mind, it was so hard to do as a family, explaining the struggles Chris had with work-related stress. No family should have to go through this.
The response since the release of Chris’s Story has been overwhelming. We didn’t realise it would reach so many people and construction organisations with such an impact. We have received so many responses and it’s clear that stress in the workplace has and still is affecting lots of people.
I remember someone telling me that they have been struggling with their mental health and because of seeing the film they felt able to talk to someone at their workplace. This is exactly why we did the film so that if anyone is feeling anxious and stressed, they can feel more able to speak openly and know that there is help available.
We hope that our involvement with the film and our support of Mates in Mind as a charity working to make a difference, has shown people that mental health is just as important as physical health and that organisations will now consider putting mental health awareness training in place across their teams and projects. No one should feel the way Chris did. No family should have to go through what we have. Please do know that you can talk and there is someone there that understands your struggles, reach out to a manager or someone you trust if you are struggling, you are not a failure, there is always a solution".
Employers are under a legal duty to assess the risk of workplace stress for their workers and to take appropriate action to ensure their wellbeing (HSE).
We can help employers to understand, manage and prevent stress in their teams and workplaces. We support leaders to understand the importance and practicalities of completing team and individual stress risk assessments, ensuring that you fulfil your legal duty of care.