New Mental Health First Aid Course Now Offered to the Roofing Industry

The Wales National Roof Training Group (WNRTG) is now offering a two-day Mental Health First Aid course to the roofing and construction industry in England.

Lesley Hughes, WNRTG Training Officer, recently completed her qualification to become a mental health first aid instructor as part of a campaign by the CITB to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the British construction industry.

The course will teach roofing professionals how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis.

Lesley is now set to deliver the first two courses in Leeds, with Denise Cherry of the Yorkshire Independent Roof Training Group, and in Bristol, but will also be offering the course across England.

The need for metal health first aid training is clearly documented. Figures released last year by the Office of National Statistics show that the incidence of suicide among roofers, tilers and slaters is 2.7 times higher than the national average.

Shockingly, between 2011 and 2015, ONS data shows 2,757 people working in the roofing industry committed suicide – compared to 217 fatal injuries in the same period – 97 of which were caused by a fall from height – an issue explored by Roofing Today last year in article called A Silent Crisis in the UK Roofing Industry’, July 2017 p.38.

Gary Walpole, Technical Health & Safety Officer at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors

Gary Walpole, Technical Health & Safety Officer at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors said: “One in four people will experience some kind of mental health illness each year. The most tragic consequence of a mental health issue going untreated is suicide, which is the biggest killer of men in the UK. In fact, 84 men under the age of 50 take their own lives each week, which equates to one man every two hours. I think most of us will agree that’s a shocking statistic.”

“Unfortunately, the construction industry has some of the highest suicide rates of any.”

Find Out More
To find out more and book your place on a Mental Health First Aid course contact Lesley Hughes on 07817 641 984 or email lesley.hughes@wnrtg.co.uk.

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