It’s OK not to be OK.
That’s a mantra Clamason have proudly adopted in the wake of a new partnership with Tough Enough To Care (TETC).
We opened our doors to the mental health support group earlier this year in a bid to tackle the stigmas surrounding depression.
In what is a typically macho environment, it’s not always easy to express vulnerability on the shopfloor.
This can lead to spiraling anxiety and a vicious circle that may – in the worst case scenarios – result in suicides that devastate families and businesses alike.
Tough Enough To Care
Rather than ‘manning up’ TETC are on a mission to get male colleagues talking.
Led by army veteran Stuart Bratt, the initiative ironically started in a Midlands pub.
Drawn to a beer mat which implored patrons to check in on friends that had kept a low profile, Stuart felt inspired.
Within hours he’d joined forces with a group of friends to create a dedicated Facebook page aimed at extinguishing toxic masculinity once and for all.
Now entering its third year the charity can proudly point to 50,000 beer mats of their own, not to mention more than 100,000 emergency contact cards distributed globally.
TETC have been a force for good, providing weekly peer support groups, along with a free text service. They have also delivered mental health training throughout the community, doing so free of charge for non-profit organisations.
Given their focus on male dominated industries, Clamason were keen to invite Stuart and his team into our West Midlands production facility.
Mental Health First Aiders
As well as explaining the importance of mental health he underlined its undeniable link to male suicide, which remains the single biggest killer of men aged 45 or under in the UK.
Our team were encouraged to open up to one another and shown tips for pinpointing signs friends or family may be at a low ebb.
The session quickly cemented a working relationship, sparking future visits with more attendees.
It was also evidence of Clamason’s continued commitment to wellbeing, having already appointed six Mental Heath First Aiders in the space of three short years.
These volunteers are always available to lend an ear and have created an environment in which people feel comfortable to open up.
In teaming up with TETC, the business has further demonstrated a duty of care which underpins our work both at our UK and Slovakian facilities.
CEO Matthew Way spoke of the positive change this has brought about.
“Over the past few years, with the additional stresses and strains that Covid has brought to our lives, coupled with the latest economic pressures we are facing as a nation, things have certainly taken their toll on all of us”, he said.
“Talking about suicide was a bit difficult for some in the room as it’s a taboo topic in our culture, especially blokes in heavy industry. But we all learned from Stu that it’s OK to talk about it and, more importantly, he equipped us with some great tools on reading the warning signs.”
So impactful was the session, Clamason are planning something similar for our female employees, much to the delight of TETC themselves.
“As a large employer of local people, Clamason has a duty of care to support its staff and it is a privilege to be asked to aid in this support for employee’s mental health”, said Bratt.
“Working alongside the Mental Health First Aiders to implement workplace support has already shown the true passion that this team has towards their colleague’s mental health, and we look forward to growing this relationship further with future awareness sessions and providing Mental Health training.”
Workplace support of this kind is key not just in engineering but every sector.
Clamason are proud to champion mental health awareness and thank TETC for assisting us in those efforts.
It’s OK not to be OK. Especially at work.