The chief executive of a leading North West homebuilder is encouraging more men working in construction to talk about their mental health to help reduce high rates of suicide within the industry.
Genesis Homes and its sister company Russell Armer Homes have chosen male suicide prevention organisation ANDYSMANCLUB as its charity of the year for 2024, and will raise money for, and awareness of, the charity which hosts weekly sessions welcoming men to open up about their feelings.
Nicky Gordon, the Chief Executive of Genesis Homes, has been touched by the great work ANDYSMANCLUB has done nationwide to break down the stigma of men’s mental health.
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that there are more than 500 suicides recorded within construction each year – the rate three times higher than the national industry average.
Nicky said: “It is heartbreaking to read the stats about the high level of suicides in construction. It is an industry dominated by men and measures need to be implemented to try to reduce this worrying trend.
“For whatever reason, there has always been a stigma around men showing emotion, talking about their mental health and letting others know they’re struggling as if it is some sort of weakness.
“What ANDYSMANCLUB does is let men know that it’s not a sign of weakness. Conversely, it is okay to talk and share your feelings – that to me shows bravery.
“I have heard so much positivity about ANDYSMANCLUB and how their weekly sessions can provide lifelines for men having a tough time by bringing people together every Monday evening and letting them know they’re not alone in whatever fight they’re fighting.
“The charity has proven that talking can save lives, and we want the construction industry to throw its weight behind this amazing charity and that is why we are so passionate about supporting ANDYSMANCLUB as a business.”
ANDYSMANCLUB was established seven years ago following the death of Andrew Roberts, who died of suicide at the age of 23, to offer a place men could gather regularly and talk about their mental health in a non-judgmental environment.
The charity now has more than 150 locations throughout the UK, with further clubs to open in the coming months.
Lucas Whitehead, the Head of Marketing and Partnerships at ANDYSMANCLUB, said: “Thank you to Genesis Homes for selecting ANDYSMANCLUB as its charity of the year for 2024, and encouraging men working across the male-dominated industry of construction to open up about their feelings.
“As an organisation, we cover communities across the country and we would welcome construction workers, or from any other sector for that matter, with open arms to any of our clubs. They can find out where their local club is by visiting our website.”
To promote wellbeing at work, Nicky has introduced a number of initiatives at Genesis Homes including regular staff social events, monthly wellbeing walks and encouraged staff to be trained in mental health first aid.
In 2023, Genesis Homes raised more than £45,000 for its charity of the year, Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams Music Trust.
More details about ANDYSMANCLUB and where sessions are held can be found at www.andysmanclub.co.uk.