Samaritans Give Back To Costain
15 January 2016
Health and safety at Costain understandably tends to focus on physical aspects of the job. But mental health problems can be just as debilitating.
So, a batch of courses run and organised by the Costain Group in partnership with Samaritans to promote emotional wellbeing was warmly welcomed both by the SHE Department and personnel throughout the business.
The offer of assistance from Samaritans – which came about through last year’s *Costain 150 Challenge – tied in particularly well with Mental Health Awareness Month run by the SHE Department.
The courses were designed to help build self-awareness and personal resilience, explained Costain 150 Challenge Project Manager, Thomas Cleary.
While the primary focus of the year-long challenge was to raise £1 million for four charities, those charities had the opportunity to leave a legacy. “All four charities have had the opportunity to come into the Group and do something that won’t just be a ‘here and now’ event, it will last for people who attend the courses a lifetime,” said Thomas.
“Samaritans offered to run 10 courses for us,” said SHE Health & Wellbeing Manager Veronica Robins. “One in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition during our lifetime and our mental health initiative supports the principles of the current national ‘Time to Change’ campaign which is being run by the leading mental health charities, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
“The aim of the campaign is to try to remove the stigma associated with mental health by improving public attitudes towards people with mental health problems and encouraging everyone to discuss this issue rather than brushing it under the carpet.
“I offered the 10 courses out to the teams and they were snapped up very quickly. Samaritans offered the courses to us free of charge, as something they could do for us.”
The courses focused on assisting staff to become more resilient in the way that they deal with the challenges that arise in life and cope better with difficult situations through techniques such as managing their thoughts.
“Feedback from the courses has been extremely positive,” said Veronica.
* The 150 Challenge commemorated Costain’s 150th anniversary and involved raising £1million in 2015 for the Costain Charitable Foundation’s four chosen charities – the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, youth charity The Prince’s Trust and Samaritans.
Costain Communications Department