RMD Kwikform (RMDK), a global leader in formwork, falsework, and ground shoring solutions, is supporting World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021 by ensuring its employees have equal access to mental health support through its global network of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs).

The World Health Organization's annual initiative aims to raise awareness and support of mental health issues around the world, with this year's theme being 'Mental Health in an Unequal World'. The theme highlights that access to mental health services remains unequal, with investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget, contributing to the gap in mental health treatment. However, RMDK is committed to supporting its staff's mental health across the globe and so, to ensure all employees have equal access to mental health services and support, the company has invested in a growing global network of trained MHFAs, with the number increasing by over 50% during the last year.

As RMDK provides solutions to the global construction industry, it recognises that it is a sector that is particularly affected by mental health issues. In many parts of the world construction workers are at a higher risk of suicide, and this has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excess mortality from suicide among construction workers is an ongoing issue in countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA, Denmark, Italy, Australia and Canada. For example, in England suicide risk among low-skilled male construction workers is three times higher than the male national average. RMDK understands the importance of good mental health, as well as identifying the additional pressures caused by COVID-19. The company is therefore committed to providing equal mental health support to all its employees whatever department they work in, whether office, yard, sales or other areas of the business. To meet this need, RMDK has increased its MHFAs to over 75 in the last year, to enable the company to offer further mental health provision.

“I believe that having a care system in place for our employees is paramount; part of this is ensuring we have a platform to take care of our colleagues' mental health,” says Lisa-Marie Cunningham, HR Director at RMDK. “I am proud to say that in the last 12 months RMDK has increased the number of our MHFAs by more than 50%, with over 75 qualified personnel across the globe. I would like every single one of my colleagues to know that their mental health is important to us and that there is always a way to ask for help.”

Health and safety are RMDK's highest priority and mental health is an important part of this. The company's health and safety framework, I-Care, uses Seven Habits of Good Safety Leadership and, under Habit Number 5: 'Intervene for Safety', encourages staff to open a conversation if they have spotted someone struggling with mental health at work. This World Mental Health Day, RMDK has also produced an infographic to help staff spot people who are struggling, so they can intervene. However, many people may feel uncomfortable and unprepared to start a conversation to do this. RMDK therefore also provides employees with guidance from RUOK, a harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations to help people through difficult times, to help staff intervene and ask, “Are you OK?”

In addition, this World Mental Health Day, RMDK is also communicating internally to ensure all staff are aware there is a MHFA available near them, and how to contact them if they need help – ensuring all employees have equal access across the globe. All RMDK's Mental Health First Aiders are trained and accredited and have been taught how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, or a crisis such as thoughts of suicide. MHFAs are taught to give effective support and know how to access professional help when needed.

To find out more about World Mental Health Day visit https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2021

To find out more about RMDK, visit https://www.rmdkwikform.com