For Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020), JTL has been considering the impact that Covid-19 is having on those in trade roles who may be under increased pressure, both in and outside of work.
JTL is working closely with the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) to offer a range of welfare support services to all of its learners and employers working within the building services industries. The EIC offers free confidential support services, recognising that mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression affect an estimated one in six workers in the construction sector.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, JTL is encouraging everyone to be open and honest with how they are feeling and to seek help where necessary, including utilising the resources available on JTL’s website.
Mental Health in the workplace
Recent statistics reported by mental health charity, Mind, show that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems throughout their working life. During the current situation you may be working alone all day and have no one to interact with, or perhaps you are required to work longer more demanding shift patterns, which has left you feeling exhausted and isolated from others. This is where your health is paramount, both physically and mentally.
JTL’s dos and don’ts when it comes to managing stress and wellbeing during the current situation and beyond:
DO seek medical advice
If you had injured yourself at work or were feeling physically unwell, you wouldn’t think twice about seeking help – the same attitude should be taken with your mental health too. You can refer to the NHS website for more information and guidance.
DO maintain regular communication with people
Whether it’s your employer, colleagues, friends, family, your JTL tutor or a medical professional, talking is crucial. People may find talking about mental health problems difficult, however it is important that we work together to create an environment where mental health is openly discussed in a non-judgemental way.
DO take some time out
Listen to your body and ensure you are getting as much downtime and sleep as you need. If your current daily routine is quieter than what you’re used to then take this time to rest and recharge.
Don’t ignore your normal routine
If you are now working, continue to maintain a healthy work-life balance, take regular breaks where possible, and make sure you are getting enough downtime and sleep when at home. You should also engage in exercise and stretching regularly, as exercise is a known powerful stress reliever whilst stretching will help fight off sleepiness and aches and pains.
Don’t ignore the resources available to you
The range of free support services offered by the EIC can help those who may be struggling with both personal or work-related issues. Support can be found in the form of telephone counselling, legal and debt advice, scholarships and financial grants. You can benefit from the EIC’s support materials, which includes help sheets covering a variety of issues, including alcohol dependency, suicide and stress.
Don’t think you are going through it alone
Anyone working with JTL, both learners and employers, are welcome to contact the EIC assistance scheme. It is the EIC’s mission to meet the wellbeing needs of every individual in the industry throughout their careers, and they have helped so many people already – read about Brian’s story here.
For more useful advice and guidance on how to manage your mental health in your everyday life, visit Mind Charity here