Safer Highways | Mental Health Summit Launches First Industry Benchmarking Survey
On the 20th June, at the House of Commons, the inaugural Safer Highways Mental Health Summit brought together senior representatives from government, business and academia from across the national Highways sector to launch the first industry-wide ‘Thriving at Work’ Mental Health Survey.
Karl Simons from Thames Water and Chair of the event explained:
“As a Client organisation that employs several thousand workers out on the public highway every day it’s vitally important we and other major employers set the tone about the importance of mental health within business and also share the work we have done over the years to create a more inclusive culture of care that enables everyone to thrive whilst at work. This was a super afternoon, kicked off by everyone listening to Lord Dennis Stevenson the co-author of the Prime Ministers review into mental health within business and it’s always fascinating and insightful listening to Dennis speak about the work that went into the report, the outcomes are seen and the impact it has and continues to have across the country. The Thriving at Work survey will now be sent to 500 Client, Design and Contracting organisations working Nationally across the entire Highways sector each of which employs above 250 employees – The Survey is built around the 10 ‘Core’ and ‘Enhanced’ Standards asking each of the questions to establish what steps each company has taken since its launch 18 months ago and ultimately gain a collective national industry position”.
Speaking at the event Kevin Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of Safer Highways said, “I am extremely proud to be a part in highways becoming the first sector to take the amazing work of the Thriving at Work report and effectively use its recommendations as a way of helping our industry to develop ways of improving the mental state of those we put to work.
“Collectively we estimate that the Highways Sector, through principal and tertiary contractors employ almost a quarter of a million people, most of whom are men.
“We know that statistically, 1 in 4 men will suffer some form of mental illness in their lives, most probably during the duration of their working lives.
“By enabling employers to understand what they are not only doing wrong but most importantly doing right, we will, in time build a culture of top-down change and deliver the support systems our people need.
Adding to this, Karl Simons, chair of the event said:
“Our survey is just the first part of this process but the phenomenal support we have seen today shows me that we have a collective desire to do more. We can do this through this programme, starting with the survey. All we ask is that companies fill it out in an open and honest way, don’t be afraid to answer no to a question, it is not a failing but instead offers you an opportunity to see an area you can be better.”