Aberdeen construction event helps break down stigmas around health and wellbeing

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THE importance of emotional wellbeing for construction workers in Scotland’s north east was the focus of a recent Cala Homes subcontractor seminar.

The Foundations for Wellbeing event, which took place at the Village Hotel in Aberdeen, attracted over 100 attendees including Cala employees and subcontractor partners.

The event focused on practices to support the teams across all of Cala’s Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire developments and offices, including a Mental Health First Aider programme and ‘lunch and learn’ sessions with the housebuilder’s charity partner, Samaritans.

Cala revealed the seminar is part of an overall approach to challenge stereotypes within the construction industry around emotional wellbeing.

Most recently, teams across the group were encouraged to take time out and chat about a range of health topics during Men’s Health Awareness month. The business added that it aims to be a leader in the sector when it comes to support for employees and subcontractor partners, with Cala’s Wellbeing Action Plan including more than 100 trained mental health first aiders across the business, as well as wellbeing webinars, smarter working approaches, leadership development, and role modelling.

The Aberdeen event was hosted by broadcaster and former STV presenter Kirsten Gove and featured a variety of guest speakers including Cala Homes (North) MD Mike Naysmith, trained mental health first aiders from within the Cala team, and representatives from Samaritans and men’s suicide prevention charity Andy’s Man Club.

The seminar also included updates on general site health and safety, awards for Subcontractor of the Year and Site Safety, and the announcement of a fundraising walking challenge in Aberdeen next year in support of Samaritans.

Steve Jarvie, construction director at Cala Homes (North) and organiser of the event, said, “I’m thrilled to have been able to welcome so many faces from across the north east construction sector to our Foundations for Wellbeing seminar. Highlighting the importance of emotional wellbeing in our industry and supporting our teams and partners when it comes to mental health is so important for Cala.

“One of the most high-risk groups for suicide is middle-aged men, and the risk is significantly higher than the national UK average for males who work in the construction sector, so this is an issue that really matters to us as a business. Through the support systems in place at Cala Homes for both our employees and subcontractors, our partnerships with Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club, and other initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid training, all of which were discussed at our seminar, we aim to break down stigmas and make working within construction a safer environment for all.”