Highways Organisation is Driving from the Front for Better Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Highway Safety |

Highways Organisation is Driving from the Front for Better Mental Health Awareness

In recent months, one of CourseSight’s highways industry clients has begun a valuable push to emphasise the importance of mental health awareness and mental health first aid training for its employees and more widely across the highways industry. It’s impossible to question the importance of mental health awareness and promoting training to support individuals now more than ever amidst the continuing turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health and safety training has always been at the heart of this particular client’s ethos, protecting its staff from the everyday hazards of the industry and increasingly, this will begin to include important mental health training for staff at all levels.

Earlier this year, an incident occurred that cemented the importance of this ethos for this client. A member of the public, suffering from mental health issues, ran out into a busy road in front of one of the client’s vehicles and was tragically killed in the collision. A 2018 survey showed that such incidents occur more and more every year, dramatically contributing to those suffering and working with mental health issues across the highways construction and trucking sector. For many, the fear alone of experiencing a tragedy like this can lead to debilitating anxiety, so it is unsurprising that the impact of such a horrific accident for the driver involved and other workers in the vicinity was immense. Thankfully, in spite of the shock of the tragedy, this group were supported by their colleagues, who had been trained in mental health first aid and were able to help them move past the trauma over the following months. In the absence of appropriate training and a recognition of the importance of mental health support, the positive outcome for these individuals would likely have been dramatically different.

Since then, the organisation has initiated a move to include basic mental health training into its more general, physical, health and safety protocol for its staff. In partnership with Mates in Mind, a charity committed to improving mental health in the construction industry, this client has demonstrated its dedication to protecting the mental health of its staff, supporting them through trauma and encouraging attendance of courses in mental health awareness. Mental health training has become an increasingly important aspect of health and safety training in the workplace because of the potential for accidents like this and organisations like this one are playing a pivotal role in emphasising and normalising such actions.

Mates in Mind is offering e-learning opportunities via the CourseSight training marketplace. These courses offer comprehensive training in mental health awareness and provide important insight into how to offer mental health first aid in the workplace. And as far as the importance of supporting mental health in the workplace and destigmatising the broader conversation, the work that Mates in Mind is doing is driving an essential psychological shift within the highways and construction industry. By contributing to a dialogue that prioritises mental health first-aid training, alongside traditional health and safety, training providers like this one are acting as architects of change within the industry and the CourseSight team is incredibly proud to help advance this incredibly worthy cause.

Additionally, many highways workers are now equipped with a competency card, from the SkillGuard health and safety passport system, which organisations have implemented to protect the physical safety of their employees by managing their authority to work. Increasingly however, these competency cards can also be used to store information about employees’ mental health training qualifications. This means that managers can use them to identify any gaps in their workforce’s mental health awareness training, which can then be filled accordingly via training courses hosted by providers such as Mates in Mind. Reference Point created this competency card solution in 2016 to meet the industry’s growing need to manage staff and their qualifications through one valuable and flexible tool.

Reference Point has been creating and managing solutions such as this for over twenty years now. To read more about the company’s other software solutions, please click here.


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