Absolute Scaffolding Wales (ASW), a Neath-based business, has pledged its commitment to Time to Change Wales, a social movement that aims to improve attitudes and change behaviour towards mental health in society in Wales.
Some 30 guests including Wales & Ospreys player Paul James and representatives from Hafal and Mind Cymru, the two mental health charities behind the campaign, attended the event which saw ASW’s MD Carl Hendy make and sign his pledge on behalf of the company.
ASW joins Neath Port Talbot Council and scores of other businesses around Wales in announcing their commitment to the initiative which is funded by Welsh Government alongside Big Lottery and Comic Relief.
According to Time to Change Wales, mental health problems are extremely common with one in four of us affected at any one time; yet they are often misunderstood and people with mental health problems can be subjected to stigmatising attitudes and discriminatory behaviour.
Karen Roberts, Programme Manager for Time to Change Wales says: “We are delighted that ASW have signed our organisation pledge and are taking positive steps to help tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. Our campaign message is simple; we want to get people talking about mental health in order to normalise conversations with friends, family and in the workplace. We have worked with ASW to develop a comprehensive action plan which we hope will help give everyone in the organisation the confidence to talk about mental health in the workplace, and are very much looking forward to engaging with their Employee Champions in the coming months.”
ASW is one of south Wales’ leading scaffolding businesses and part of the Welsh Government’s Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) which supports high growth businesses in Wales.
With its HQ in Resolven and employing around 15 staff, it is the principal contractor for a number of high-profile companies and organisations including SSE (Rail Works), Tai Tarian, Trivallis, Cadw and Trinity House.
“I am proud to make our pledge to Time to Change Wales and pleased so many people were able to join us today,” says Hendy.
“Changing the way we think and act about mental health problems is extremely important especially in the workplace where without empathy and understanding from employers, the problems are unlikely to go away and may even get worse.”
Hendy explains that mental health issues are particularly prevalent within the construction industry where men, predominantly young, can find themselves struggling to cope with family and relationship issues as well as financial concerns.
“At ASW we regard good mental health just as important as good physical health and so without prejudice or discrimination, encourage openness and make it clear that help is available,” he adds.
“We are delighted to welcome ASW Scaffolding on board and thankful to Carl and his team for making this commitment which is particularly timely as it coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week,” comments Roberts.