A Bolton construction firm has marked the first anniversary of a mental health awareness scheme it created in memory of a colleague who tragically took his own life.
Seddon has been an advocate for encouraging conversation around mental health since teammate Jordan Bibby’s death in 2017.
In May last year, the company launched Jordan’s Conversation, in partnership with registered charity Mates in Mind, to raise awareness of mental health.
Fittingly, the first anniversary coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week, and the company has been hosting activities across its sites to mark both occasions.
As part of Jordan’s Conversation, Seddon organises a “toolbox talk” for staff, a session that is designed to raise awareness of mental health across the company. It has also formed a team of mental health first aiders, trained to recognise the signs that colleagues may be struggling and need help.
“Jordan was a well-loved friend and colleague, and as a company we wanted to do whatever we could to prevent such a tragedy happening again,” said Nicola Hodkinson, Seddon’s director of business services.
“So far, we have delivered Jordan’s Conversation toolbox sessions to more than 300 employees, helping to ingrain discussions around mental health awareness at the heart of our company culture.
“By investing time, care and attention in our people, we’re giving them the best chance of succeeding both personally and professionally. We are immensely proud of where we have taken this initiative so far and look forward to continuing to make progress as the years go on.”
Seddon hosted a ‘Big Hug’ at its Plodder Lane headquarters to mark the first anniversary of Jordan’s Conversation (main image). The heart-warming event saw more than 130 staff, as well as Bibby’s mother, Melanie and family take part.
The event involved passing a hug around the grounds, a symbol for encouraging everyone to share what’s going on in their lives more openly with colleagues.
And to further celebrate the initiative, Seddon encouraged its employees, clients and partners to take part in #Take10at10.
This campaign encouraged its team to have a “proper chat” over a cup of coffee and get to know each other better, as this is seen as key to being able to recognise the first signs of someone struggling.
The team rounded off their week of activity with 130 Seddon staff tackling the three peaks challenge in Yorkshire, raising funds for Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham’s homelessness fund.
According to 2018 research from Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. For those in construction, figures are higher – in a 2017 survey of construction workers by Randstad, 34% said they had experienced a mental health condition in the last 12 months.