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BALI asks members to pledge mental health support for World Mental Health Day

The British Association of Landscape Industries is launching a mental health initiative, focusing on the often-overlooked importance of mental health support in the landscaping and horticulture sectors.

The Association is asking its members to pledge to support mental health in the workplace and has committed to providing members with access to mental health training. It has partnered with EDP Training to deliver a series of Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) courses, starting in November 2021. It is the Association’s aim to support all its members to have at least one trained Mental Health First Aider in their teams by 2023.

With the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, mental health support has never been more important. One in four people experience poor mental health every year, with men between 40-49 years old at the greatest risk of experiencing a mental health crisis – demographics enormously represented in our sector.

One in six workers will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress over the course of their lifetimes. With mental health problems costing businesses £1,300 per employee every year, there are key business incentives to improve pastoral care.

As Health and Social Care Secretary of State, Sajid Javid stated at the recent Global Mental Health Summit 2021: “Our mission must be for mental health to be treated with the same urgency as physical health. After all, its effects can be just as harmful.” He continued: “In England, we’ve committed an extra 2.3 billion pounds per year to transform mental health services by 2023, expanding them to reach families, communities, workplaces and schools.”

Key facts about mental health in the workplace

  • 18 people are lost to suicide every day in the UK
  • Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45
  • Male site workers are three times more likely to die by suicide than the average daily rate for men
  • 69% of UK line managers say supporting employee wellbeing is a core skill, but only 13% have received training

If Association members lost 18 people per day from our paying membership, then it would only take roughly 53 days for every paying member to lose a member of their team. By coming together, we can work towards prevention by supporting each other – both in our industry and beyond.

British Association of Landscape Industries Chief Executive Wayne Grills commented: “By taking a stance on supporting members within our industry with their mental health, we are demonstrating the importance to speak out and support our colleagues to safeguard them with invaluable training, skills and knowledge.”

Watch launch video – Association Board Director and Managing Director of Garden Club London Tony Woods talks about the importance of mental health in the workplace

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