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Mental Health Awareness Week

10 May 2021

Today sees the launch of the Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 initiative, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, which continues to see increasing impetus.

While the topic was already established as a major theme, the last 14 months have seen a growing number of mainstream surveys and national media reports on the issues emerging from conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Major industry associations and bodies are joining an expanding number of public and private enterprises in engaging and promoting Mental Health Awareness Week.

This year's initiative includes a focus on the benefits of interacting with nature, particularly in alleviating stress levels and promoting more positive mental health attitudes.

The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging everyone to increase their interaction with the natural environment and provides numerous suggestions for doing this.

While the more able bodied can attend their local park, spend more time in rural areas or increase their activities in their own gardens, those unable to do this are encouraged to grow their own plants indoors or listen to birdsong and take more notice of plants, wildlife and the areas that support them.

One of the industry bodies supporting the event is the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), following increased levels of suicide and mental health concern among workers in the sector.

It is promoting the message provided by self-employed builder and broadcaster Andy Stevens, who says the issue "has to stop, as there's too many people who are struggling".

The CITB is also working with the Lighthouse Club, which has trained nearly 5,000 mental health first aiders in the construction sector so far.

Additional efforts are also being seen throughout the FM industry, with the ongoing easing of lockdown restrictions raising further attention on the need to support all those returning to their workplace after a lengthy absence.

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