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Mental health matters at Russell Roof Tiles

by Jennie Ward

A new dedicated programme to support staff’s mental health and wellbeing has been rolled out at Russell Roof Tiles, with the pitched roof manufacturer offering support through a number of different initiatives including in person and virtual one to one session and group sessions.

On National Stress Awareness Day (3rd November), Russell Roof Tiles has revealed it is rolling out its first dedicated programme to support its team’s mental health and wellbeing.

Russell Roof Tiles (RRT) is the largest independent manufacturer of concrete derivatives in the UK pitched roofing market and employs around 150 staff at three sites in Burton on Trent and Lochmaben (Scotland).

National Stress Awareness Day was set up by the International Stress Management Association, with the mission of raising awareness of the effects of distress in the workplace and strategies to address it. Always held on a Wednesday – which is said to be the most exhausting and stressful day – Russell Roof Tiles says the day aims to remind everyone that good stress management is essential to provide best possible performance.

Russell Roof Tiles is offering its staff support through a number of different initiatives including in person and virtual one to one session and group sessions. 

Andrew Hayward, Managing Director at Russell Roof Tiles, said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our staff very seriously and are pleased we’re able to provide support by way of expert advice and counselling.

“It has been a difficult time for many, with the long-lasting impact of Covid-19 hitting individuals and families. With winter fast approaching and though the festive season for many is a time filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings, for some it can be a time of loneliness and anxiety.”

Latest reports show that men aged 45-49 continue to have the highest suicide rate (23.8 per 100,000) although there is also a regional variation in the suicide rates. The North East of England had the highest suicide rate (13.3. per 100,000) in 2020, which has been the case in five out of the last ten preceding years and saw an increase of 15.7 per cent compared to 2019.

Russell Roof Tiles’ initiative follows the recent ‘Big Brew’, campaign, launched last month by Band of Builders to address the mental health crisis in the construction sector.

The campaign comes as the current suicide rate of UK construction workers is estimated to be as high as two people every day. UK construction workers are also nearly three times more likely to die by suicide than their counterparts in other industries. Construction charity Band of Builders (BoB), which established the Big Brew, is organising a range of events on construction sites and at builders’ merchants to encourage the industry to discuss mental health issues and break down the stigma.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive have found that in the UK alone, more than 400,000 working days were lost to mental health issues in 2018, with mental health issues costing the sector approximately £37 billion every year.

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