Persimmon Homes puts employee mental health at the top of the agenda

Persimmon Homes is putting the mental health of its staff at the very top of its agenda by training 60 employees to become dedicated mental health first aiders.

Persimmon Homes has launched a national programme to train two employees from each of its 31 regional businesses plus head office to become fully qualified mental health first aiders.

Paul Curry, Persimmon’s national training manager is a fully qualified mental health first aid trainer and he will be leading the programme across England, Wales and Scotland.

“In the UK we are facing huge mental health challenges at work,” explains Paul. “Mental health covers a wide area and can include our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

“Our new training programme has been developed specifically for our industry and nationally we will train more than 60 mental health first aiders to deliver support to colleagues.”

Research published by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and conducted by the Construction Industry Charity Lighthouse as part of the HBF’s mental health awareness week shows that the construction industry as a whole is one of the worst affected by mental health due to the number of high-risk jobs. The research showed that a high proportion of employees have experienced mental health issues and many of them said that they have hidden the real reasons why they have been absent, illustrating that there is still a stigma around mental health.

Paul said: “As a business we take both the physical and mental well-being of our employees extremely seriously.”

“This new programme has been welcomed across the business and in the next few months we will be rolling out a further programme of mental health awareness sessions to key employees including managers and supervisors to help them recognise the signs of poor mental health amongst their colleagues.”

“There are many ways you can help look after your mental health. From keeping active to eating well or simply starting a conversation – we are determined to demonstrate to our team that there is always help available.”