GMG has reacted to growing realisation about the importance of mental health by appointing its very first ‘GMG Listeners’.
This move came before the recent Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9th – 15th), the UK’s national event to raise awareness of mental health, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.
Two of GMG’s office staff, Daniel McGinn and Elis Cappie volunteered to take up the newly-created roles. Daniel is a Quantity Surveyor and Elis a Tenant Liaison Officer.
They qualified as Mental Health First Aiders in January 2022, following training that taught them how to approach sensitive topics and touched on a wide range of mental health conditions. The subjects covered included ‘Steps to mental wellbeing’, ‘Coping with stigma’ and ‘Signs of suicidal thoughts’.
The appointment of GMG Listeners comes at a significant moment for the construction industry – suicide has recently overtaken falling from height as the number one cause of death in the sector.
The company was keen for two young people to come forward. Although mental health issues have no age limit, in recent times their frequency has increased among younger age groups. This was another driving force behind this appointment. GMG has a growing team of over 28 young apprentices. As mental health is becoming more prevalent in the younger generation, the company strives to make sure there is support in place for its workforce.
Every member of GMG staff has been made aware of the new Listeners and they are encouraged to speak to them whenever they think it’s necessary. Contact details for Daniel and Elis are available in the company’s communal area, along with other useful phone numbers, such as The Samaritans.
Daniel said: “It’s vital to give people the chance to talk when they have concerns about any aspect of their lives. The mental health first aid course is something that if the chance ever comes up, I would recommend everyone to do. It has given me a better perspective of what people go through on a daily basis. I’m really thankful that I now have the opportunity to help others.”
The appointment of Daniel and Elis is just the start for GMG. The company plans to put more of its people through the Mental Health First Aid course later in the year.< back