Mates in Mind Extends into Northern Ireland

Steve Hails, Chair of Mates in Mind (on the right) and Prof Peter McBride, Group Chief Executive, Inspire Wellbeing Group

Mates in Mind has extended its reach into Northern Ireland by partnering with mental health charity, Inspire Knowledge and Leadership. The partnership means that construction companies and workers throughout Northern Ireland can access the full support of the Mates in Mind programme.  

Mental health in construction is a significant issue, with over a third of construction workers having experienced a condition in the past year, and almost a quarter of workers considering leaving the industry due to mental health related issues (Randstad).

Mates in Mind is a charity set up for and by the construction industry, to help organisations improve the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce. Since launching its programme in September 2017, almost 70 construction companies have already become Supporters of the charity, each of whom are striving to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their own workforce and across the industry.

The partnership with Inspire will enable the charity to reach construction workers in Northern Ireland with a range of programme support, training and awareness programmes as well as counselling support services.

Inspire is a Northern Ireland charity and social enterprise that promotes mental health and wellbeing. Through Inspire’s training network, which includes three training locations as well as a mobile training facility, Northern Ireland-based construction and construction-related trade workers will have access to the full range of the Mates in Mind programmes. These include the innovative Start the Conversation course, line manager and supervisory training as well as Mental Health First Aid training.

As well as becoming a Supporter of Mates in Mind, sole traders and small businesses will also have access to unlimited 24/7 phone based counselling support.   

The programme has been developed in collaboration with key members of the Workplace Health Leadership Group (WHLG (NI)), as well as in liaison with the Construction Employers Federation NI (CEFNI), the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), CITB NI and Buildhealth NI.

Steve Hails, Chair of Mates in Mind, said “Sole traders and small businesses represent the vast majority of construction workers in NI, a workforce that is often difficult to reach when it comes to mental health awareness and support, and largely without access to professional counselling support service. We have developed a programme that not only provides a solid range of training and awareness programmes, but also ongoing counselling support.”

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