Building mental health in construction: For men’s health week, NW founder reflects on his mental health struggles
- Mike Dunn comes from a close family of builders and didn’t feel comfortable talking about his mental health when he was younger
- More than a third of people in the construction industry will suffer with their mental health
- Mike is aiming to change the perceptions surrounding mental health in the construction industry during Men’s Mental Health Week
Up until a few years ago mental health was a subject often ignored and sometimes even laughed at. Luckily times have changed, and now more than ever mental health is less of a taboo and, more importantly, it is the norm to express how we feel.
However, some industries still find themselves facing challenges when it comes to speaking up about mental health. Mike Dunn, the managing director of Excel ™ Group, openly admits that he has struggled with his mental health most of his life, struggling as recently as last week, Mike had to use his own advice and met to speak with a friend.
‘Mates in Mind’ has recently reported that more than a third of construction workers in the UK suffer with elevated levels of anxiety in day to day life. Coming from a family of builders himself, Mike always tried to paper over the cracks of his emotions when he was younger and pretend he was okay, however looking back now he knows that his family wouldn’t have been interested in his ‘macho builder’ image and instead listened and helped him.
Twelve months ago, Mike’s partner Sian joined the business taking on the role of director. As part of her role, Sian takes on the role of mental health officer at Excel ™ Group.
Wife Sian & Mental Health First Aider has addressed the ways in which can you keep an eye on your partner if you believe that they might be facing any mental health challenges;
“It’s important to encourage your partner to open up and practice active listening. Listen without judgment and don’t always try to come up with solutions, sometimes someone just needs you to hear what they have to say. Let them know you are there for them and willing to help in any way you can.
Encourage your partner to practice self care. Recognise when they need some time for themselves. Mayberun them a bath. Take care of the kids for the evening so their load is lifted slightly when they can see they are strained.”
As part of Men’s Mental Health Week, Mike has decided to take the week off to focus on his own mental health, by just taking time to do the garden, which coincides with Men’s Mental Health Week.
“I have decided that I am going to get our garden cleaned up and ready for the rest of summer. The last time we did any work on our garden was during lockdown.I also love having targets to reach and being outside, it seems like the perfect time.”