Wates Group offers mental health training to help prevent suicide

Wates Group reports 29.8% mean gender pay gapDevelopment, building and property maintenance firm Wates Group has introduced mental health awareness training for employees, to help prevent suicide among young people.

Announced for Mental Health Awareness Week (15 to 21 May), 90 employees and 300 people in the local communities the business works in will be offered training in applied suicide intervention skills as part of a renewed drive to reduce suicide rates in the construction industry.

After holding a vote, Wates Group employees chose Papyrus, which is dedicated to suicide prevention and promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in young people, to be its charity partner for the next three years. The group said it aims to raise a minimum of £225,000 for the charity over this period through events and activities to promote suicide prevention among employees and the wider community.

Eoghan O’Lionaird, chief executive at Wates Group, said: “The statistics on suicide in our industry are devastating, and it’s a cause everyone at Wates cares deeply about, as they demonstrated when selecting Papyrus to become our next charity partner.

“As employers, we not only feel a responsibility to address the issue of suicide within our industry, but we are also committed to supporting the communities where we work, to do more to promote wellbeing among young people, and to stop these numbers from continuing to rise.

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“This partnership with Papyrus will provide vital training for our employees and members of the wider community, as well as sponsoring much-needed posts at the charity so it can continue its important work. We look forward to closely working with Papyrus over the next three years to raise awareness of this serious issue.”

Ged Flynn, chief executive at Papyrus, added: “Not only will this partnership be transformational for us as a charity, but we believe that the positive impact that it will have on such a large group of people will be hugely transformational for the construction industry. Together with Wates, we will help to save many lives and keep young people safe from suicide.”