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26 May 2022

Balfour Beatty and Ford Launch New Suicide Prevention Campaign

Balfour Beatty and Ford Launch New Suicide Prevention Campaign

Balfour Beatty'and'Ford'have teamed up to support the launch of a new 'Make it Visible' suicide prevention campaign, delivered in partnership with construction charity The Lighthouse Club.

Following'Mental Health Awareness Week earlier this month, the 'Make it Visible' suicide prevention campaign aims to combat'construction worker suicide.

The suicide prevention campaign sets out to provide counsellors and mental health first aiders with a means to get to construction sites that do not currently have a'mental health provision'in place, with branded vehicles and onsite posters directing workers to a safe place to talk, enabling people to access mental health support more easily.

Through its partnership with'Mates in Mind'' a UK charity raising awareness and addressing the stigma of poor mental health in the construction industry and related sectors ' Balfour Beatty has already trained over 588 mental health first aiders across the UK.

The company has also delivered 10,000 'Start the Conversation' sessions to further awareness of the impact of poor mental health and to signpost individuals to the support available.

As a result, Balfour Beatty has seen a 26% increase in requests to its Employee Assistance Programme, demonstrating that its employees are aware of the routes and support available to them and in its most recent Employee Engagement Survey, 94% of employees stated that they felt that they are cared for at the company.

The suicide prevention campaign provides people a dedicated safe space to talk

Heather Bryant, health, safety and environment director at Balfour Beatty commented: 'For too long, the construction and infrastructure industry has treated'mental health'as the poor cousin of physical health. We must change this incredibly outdated perception ' and at Balfour Beatty, we are continuing to lead the way.

'The 'Make it Visible' campaign compliments the work we have done with the charity Mates in Mind, by specifically helping to reach those, including smaller companies and supply chain partners, who may not be aware of the support available to them whilst also providing a dedicated, safe space to talk.'

'Raising awareness and getting support to those in need of it'

Mandy Dean, director, commercial vehicles, Ford of Britain and Ireland, added: 'This campaign is hugely important to Ford and'highlights the importance of mental wellbeing'alongside physical wellbeing on the construction site.

'As the UK's best-selling commercial vehicle brand, it is likely the majority of construction workers are also Ford customers and operators, so we feel we have a duty to support them, through this partnership with the Lighthouse Club and Balfour Beatty, raising awareness and getting support to those in need of it.'

'Delivering visible support to the boots on the ground workforce'

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said: 'We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Ford to deliver the 'Make it Visible' campaign.

'These highly distinguishable vans will be visiting sites across the country to deliver visible support to the boots on the ground workforce.

'The vehicles are manned by the Lighthouse Club's on-site team who are all Mental Health First Aiders with relatable experiences in the construction industry. I am convinced that this initiative will have a positive impact on workforce wellbeing and ultimately save lives.'

Source: PBC Today'