Cala builds on wellbeing support in Aberdeen

CALA Homes (North) is continuing its commitment to mental health awareness and support with the roll-out of training for all construction and site teams across Aberdeen.

All 36 members of the housebuilder’s construction team at nine developments in the north east of Scotland are now qualified mental health first aiders, after completing a course co-ordinated by Scottish Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) and national suicide prevention charity, Samaritans.

The firm said the training means all members of its construction team now have the skills to be more aware of their own emotional wellbeing, support their colleagues and sub-contractors visiting the site, recognise signs and symptoms of mental health issues, and promote positive emotional wellbeing in the workplace.

The team took part in a mental health seminar with the Aberdeen-based men’s suicide prevention charity Andy’s Man Club, aiming to help the construction team understand the signs of mental health struggles and discuss the importance of positive wellbeing support.

Gary McGowan, assistant site manager at Cala Homes (North), said, “Now that I’ve completed the mental health first aid course, I believe I’m able to listen and then point colleagues on site in the right direction for additional help whilst doing my best to support them when working. It’s great that as a team in our industry we’re being encouraged to talk more openly about mental health, and being supported through training.”

Steve Jarvie, construction director at Cala Homes (North), added, “Highlighting the importance of emotional wellbeing in our industry and supporting our teams and partners when it comes to mental health is so important to us at 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.

“We want to encourage our people to have honest conversations about mental health, and it’s fantastic that everyone working in our construction teams was keen to become a mental health first aider. Our subcontractor partners have also embraced our focus on emotional wellbeing, attending a recent seminar we held on the topic and signing up to become first aiders themselves.”