Mental Health First Aiders underpinning wellbeing strategy

Topic People, Wellbeing

Date 10 May 2022

As a leading construction business, Galliford Try believes that the mental health of our people is vitally important to allow them to thrive in their roles with the business, and in their personal lives.

Our Wellbeing strategy recognises that good mental health goes alongside good physical health, and our Mental Health First Aiders play a pivotal role in delivering the support that people need.

Often being that first point of contact across our sites and our offices, we now have over 200 Mental Health First Aiders who have been trained to:

  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of a range of mental health conditions
  • Listen non-judgementally and hold supportive conversations
  • Signpost people to a range of professional support services.

The Mental Health First Aid role is purely voluntary, and all have a passion for helping and supporting others.  Below is an introduction to a few people who carry out this role.

Nathaniel Pickett, Section Engineer, Galliford Try Environment

“I joined GT in 2019 working on the AMP 6 framework for Southern Water working on a range of water treatment projects delivering the civils phase of the works. Currently I am working on clean water projects on as part of AMP 7 for Southern Water.

“Outside of work I am an Officer in the British Army Reserve. When I am not training with the Army I enjoy keeping fit both physically and mentally and host a podcast as well.”

“When I was told by colleague that they had failed to take their life and that I was the only person they had told I was unprepared on how to respond. This experience highlighted to me my ignorance and inspired me to learn more about mental health.

“I learned how I can recognise and support those who are suffering with mental ill health with the aspiration to intercept those, like my colleague, who in their darkest moment decided to take their own life.

With the support of those in the organisation my colleague got the support they needed, and their mental health is better than it has ever been. They continue to be at the heart of the team contributing to the business and inspiring those around them. For me, this highlights the importance and the contribution of Mental Health First Aid.

“I host a podcast on wellbeing and I believe it is vitally important that we all listen to our bodies and try to understand our emotional state to help us stay well. Being a Mental Health First Aider is something I take seriously, as part of that first response that can help people recognise and begin to deal with whatever issues they may be experiencing.”

Felicia Ma, Graduate Engineer, ESD Joint Venture

“I graduated University and joined GT in 2020. For 17 months, I was a Graduate Environmental Advisor and the assigned Advisor for the West region at ESD. To gain further knowledge, my current role is Graduate Civil Design Engineer.

“After experiencing loss due to mental ill health and having people in my life with mental ill health, I found myself unequipped to provide the right level of support. Therefore, it was essential to me that I learnt how to recognise mental ill health and support others. Nothing is more important than your wellbeing and no one should feel alone.”