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Saturday, 21 July

Get The Inside Out

#GetTheInsideOut

A mental health awareness campaign has returned to our TV screens; one organisation is saying wellbeing - and particularly air quality - is the new bottom line; another has produced a metal health wellbeing policy; and Mates In Mind is getting another boost in Northern Ireland.

Lloyds Bank and charity partner Mental Health UK have re-launched their #GetTheInsideOut advertising campaign, which aims to encourage more people to feel comfortable speaking about mental health.

The campaign will run across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

The original campaign, launched in February, received a positive response, prompting lots of conversation on social media. The refreshed advert will feature a mix of the celebrities, members of the public and colleagues who resonated the most with audiences, playing a variation of the ‘Who am I?’ sticky-note guessing game to explore the common misconceptions about living with a mental health condition. It will be shown across Channel 4, ITV and Sky for two weeks.

The campaign will also run on Facebook and Instagram, featuring clips of some of the members of the public and colleagues from the advert sharing how talking to someone has helped them.

Catherine Kehoe, Lloyds Group Brands and Marketing Director said: "Mental Health is a really important subject for our customers, colleagues and society as a whole and I'm delighted that the original campaign has had such a positive impact."

Brian Dow, MD of Mental Health UK, said: "Too many people with mental health problems feel isolated and misunderstood yet we all have mental health so the more we talk and listen about it, the easier it becomes for everyone. This campaign will help get mental health out in the open, where it belongs."

 

How to get involved

Write #GetTheInsideOut on a sticky note

Pop it on your forehead

Take a picture of yourself

Post it on your social profiles, using the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut

 

Wellbeing Is The New Bottom Line

Property experts gathered in London on Clean Air Day (21 June) to explore wellbeing in the built environment during a Carbon2018 breakfast seminar.

Wellbeing is not a new subject it been around for a long time. However, it has suddenly risen up the agenda for building owners, designers and occupants due to advances in technology changing the way we work and the evolving needs of the UK workforce. The next generation of employees, known as Generation Z, are not willing to compromise on health and happiness viewing their own wellbeing as the ultimate bottom line. So for organisations to attract and retain the best talent and ensure good staff productivity, they must be able to provide a healthy and comfortable workplace.

According to Dr Michelle Agha-Hossein, Sustainability Engineer at BSRIA: “Building owners and operators can play a vital role in making occupants happier and more productive by moving towards a more proactive approach to wellbeing.”

She explored the functional, physical and psychological features that can be measured to assess the wellbeing of a building ranging from energy and space to greenery and décor to thermal comfort and indoor air quality.  Dr Agha-Hossein said: “Based on international standards, you can never reach 100% happiness in terms of thermal comfort in a work environment. There will always be approximately 5% of people not thermally comfortable.”  

She also stated indoor air quality is the most important factor. In the UK around 40,000 deaths annually are linked to air pollution making it the second biggest killer – only active smoking kills more.

Even more alarming Peter Dyment, Technical Manager, Air Filtration at Camfil added: “We no longer suffer from the visible pollution it has moved to the invisible. Some years ago diesel engines were characterised by black sooty smoke. Advances in technology means that emissions from diesel cars appear cleaner but the reality is they contain billions of harmful PM1 particles.”

 

Directives

Two European Directives set outdoor air pollution limits: Directive 2004/107/EC and the Air Quality Framework Directive 2008/50/EC. Different sets of air quality regulations implement those standards in the UK, which a number of UK cities including London, Manchester and Glasgow are currently failing to meet. Defra predicts that those standards will not be met until 2020 or as late as 2025 in Greater London.

Dyment commented: “We spend on average 90% of our life indoors and therefore it is vital we make our City buildings havens against outdoor air pollution.”

 

Air quality Regs?

It is still early days for standards for air quality in buildings. However it is expected that society will soon demand action and with increasing pressure on the UK Government we could potentially see it becoming part of UK building regulations.

There has certainly been an increased appetite from corporations, as well as the real estate industry, for wellbeing schemes that measure air quality as part of the wellness of a building. Victoria Lockhart, Director of Market Development, Europe at the International WELL Building Institute which delivers the WELL Building Standard, stated: “We have noticed that the healthy buildings movement here in Europe has been driven by developers and landlords of assets who are actively adopting well-being measures in their buildings as a strategy to attract and retain the best tenants in their properties.”

This growing interest resulted in BRE joining forces with IWBI in November 2016 to help project teams who are using both BREEAM and WELL deliver a more sustainable and healthier built environment as efficiently as possible. Dr Christopher Ward, Principal Consultant at BRE added: “To help streamline the respective assessment processes for projects seeking certification against BREEAM and WELL, a BREEAM Briefing Paper has been published that highlights the synergies between the BREEAM and WELL technical requirements.”

 

Wellbeing policy

With so many organisations involved in the research and setting of standards for wellbeing - working together in the interests of promoting a healthier and safer built environment - it is inevitable that even more evidence based research and case studies will emerge showcasing the benefits of a wellbeing strategy. As pointed out by Joanne Merry, Technical Director at Carbon2018: “It will soon become standard to have a dedicated wellbeing policy. After all wellbeing should be a right not a privilege.”

The BREEAM Briefing Paper ‘Assessing Health and Wellbeing in Buildings: Alignment between BREEAM and the WELL Building Standard’ is free to download from the BREEAM and WELL websites.

 

Home Office Launch National Goal To Promote Police Wellbeing

The Home Office has published ‘A common goal for police wellbeing’. The publication, developed in consultation with Mind, outlines a national goal for police wellbeing to be in place by 2021.

The aim of this goal is to ensure every member of the police service – whether staff or volunteer- across England and Wales feels able to ask for, and receive, appropriate mental or physical health support when they need it, throughout their career.

Mind has worked together with other experts in police wellbeing. The group was formed to create a shared definition of police wellbeing and to help to fill any gaps in support.

Responding to the publication, Mahbu Rahman, Blue Light Programme Manager, said: “Our emergency services do an extremely challenging job, day in, day out. Their role can have a real impact on their wellbeing. As a mental health charity, we’re here to support all of our emergency services across England and Wales through our Blue Light Programme. A recent Mind survey found that over nine in ten (91 per cent) of police staff and volunteers had experienced stress, low mood or poor mental health while working for the police service. But three in four (75 per cent) thought their organisation did not encourage them to talk about mental health – this was much more negative than the general workforce population (45 per cent)."

 

Mates In Mind

Northern Ireland construction workers’ mental wellbeing targeted for improvement as Mates in Mind launches education initiative.

The charity Mates in Mind has announced it will be delivering a series of educational sessions in a bid to start raising awareness, address the stigma of poor mental health and improve positive mental wellbeing amongst Northern Ireland’s construction workforce.

The issue of mental ill-health in the UK construction sector is a significant concern, with over a third of workers having experienced some condition in the past year. Almost a quarter of workers consider leaving the industry due to mental health related problems, which is exacerbated by a prevailing belief that employers are neither able to recognise or address these problems. Furthermore, the UK construction industry suffers from rates of suicide that are higher than any other industry sector, a fact compounded further by Northern Ireland’s already high rates of suicide compared to other parts of the UK & Republic of Ireland, which leaves its workers at potentially even greater risk.

Working to address this, the Health in Construction Leadership Group and IOSH (NI) have been instrumental in bringing Mates in Mind to Northern Ireland – in collaboration with the Workplace Health Leadership Group (NI) and working with delivery partner, Inspire Knowledge and Leadership.

CITB (NI) are providing initial funding for this kick start initiative, and offering: twenty half-day training sessions; a two-day mental health first aid training course that will lay the foundations for improving mental health; and ] two sessions specifically tailored for board members. On completion of the sessions, delegates will also have access to 24/7 telephone counselling support.

As a result, a cross section of around 400 people in Northern Ireland’s construction sector will be provided with the information, tools and techniques to spot the signs of poor mental health and learn how to guide their colleagues towards appropriate support. The sessions will focus on:

  • Getting construction workers thinking and talking about mental health.

  • Raising awareness of mental health literacy.

  • Reducing stigma around mental ill health and give attendees confidence in guiding people towards appropriate support.

  • Recognising how managers’ behaviours can affect workers’ wellbeing.

Announcing the launch, Joscelyne Shaw, Executive Director of Mates in Mind, said: “This marks an important step for the Northern Ireland construction sector as it looks to tackle the stigma associated with poor mental health. This is achieved by creating a culture built on an understanding of what good mental health looks like.

“As a result of the generous funding provided by CITB (NI) and the efforts of our collaborators, we can now start the process of opening up the subject of mental health with conversations that can make a crucial difference to so many people’s lives.”

Picture: #GetTheInsideOut

 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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