As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Advance TRS are exploring male mental health and raising awareness of the importance of talking about your mental wellbeing.

In England, around one in eight men has a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s hard to ignore the statistics, with suicide being a leading cause of death for men up to the age of forty. Three times as many men as women die by suicide.

So why do men struggle to open up about their mental health? Society’s expectations and gender roles may play a part in the difficulty to discuss or seek help for their troubles. Men were often encouraged to appear “manly” or not show their emotions, in control and a provider for the home. This stigma can cause men to suppress their emotions for fear of how they will be received.

It is also thought that men may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and unable to process the way they are feeling. Many might find themselves engaging in risky activities, picking fights and substance misuse to cope.

It is clear that more needs to be done to improve the reality that men are facing. So what can we do to support and encourage change? Several campaigns have recently emerged, encouraging men to talk about their mental health. To help break the stigma, be sure to check in on your colleagues, employees, friends, and family. Regularly ask how they are to show they have your support. As a result, this will open up the conversation for you to both discuss worries if necessary.

What is the industry doing to support mental health?

More than 25,000 railway staff have now been trained to identify and help vulnerable people, inside and outside of the rail network, thanks to a Samaritans’ partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry.

The charity also runs a Small Talk Saves Lives campaign in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police. The campaign aims to encourage the public to use the skills they already have by simply starting a conversation if they see someone who needs help. A little small talk and simple question can be all it takes to interrupt someone’s suicidal thoughts and help start them on the journey to recovery.

More and more construction businesses are also starting to see their staff’s mental health as a priority. Mates in Mind is a leading UK charity raising awareness and addressing poor mental health across industries, focusing on construction, as well as related sectors. They work in partnership with industry-leading organisations with the aim to break the silence surrounding mental ill-health.

Helpful resources

Charity Movember has a variety of great tools on how to have a conversation with someone you believe is struggling.

If you need someone to talk to then Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7. They are there to talk to, listen and they won’t judge or tell you what to do.

C.A.L.M is a National helpline for men to talk about any troubles they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58 (UK). They are available from 5pm-midnight 365 days a year.

When you’re experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change your life. Mind mental health charity believes no one should have to face this alone. Infoline: 0300 123 3393.

For support when you’re struggling to cope, Text Shout to 85258. If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support.

The Construction Industry Helpline provides a 24/7 safety net for all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. Call their helpline on 0345 605 1956 (UK) or text HARDHAT to 85258 (UK). They also offer a free Helpline App, offering advice on a variety of conditions or issues, self- assessment tools, coping strategies and referral pathways to access expert advice and support.

Advance TRS

Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly-skilled technical professionals for the built environment. 

We have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders to provide a first point of contact for our staff if needed. We also offer our a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time.

From the very beginning our Group Managing Director Andy has nurtured a close family feel office culture, where colleagues work together, socialise and look out for each other.

We are always looking for new talented and ambitious people to join our team, across our offices and in sales, management or business services.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 was all about nature and the positive effect it has on our mental wellbeing. In a previous blog, we spoke about a great article Mentalhealth.org.uk published, talking about their top tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health.

Growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of physical and psychological benefits and in this post, we wanted to share some of our favourite ideas with you.

Growing space

Not everyone has access to a garden, so instead, you could plant salad leaves or herbs in a window box or plant pot and watch them grow.

Bring nature to your home

Buy yourself some potted plants or flowers, or arrange a comfortable space to sit by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky.

Connect with animals

The positive effect animals have on our mental health are well-known, so maybe you could benefit from visiting a local farm, hanging a bird feeder outside your window or even borrowing your friend’s dog to take for a walk.

Help the environment

There are countless things you can do to help protect the environment, for example going on a litter picking walk – you will be surprised how much rubbish you will find! Or, if you have some outdoor space of your own, you could plant seeds, such as bushes and flowers to help bees and other wildlife. 

It’s the simple things

If the above don’t really work for you, you could simply enjoy your morning cup of coffee or tea outside or sit in the local park during your lunch break. 

There are many more things you can do to help you (re)connect with nature. Mental health charities like mind.org.uk, as well as the MentalHealth.org.uk website offer great resources to help you.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing. We offer a Wellbeing Hub and have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places mental wellbeing and dealing with the causes of stress as a priority, send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Today, Monday 10th May, marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, and this year, the theme is nature. 

Nature is vital to our psychological and emotional health. In fact, it is almost impossible to achieve mental wellbeing without a connection to the natural world. You might even have noticed before how much better you feel after a walk or simply spending some time outside. This is because for a big chunk of human history, we lived as part of nature and this only drastically changed with the last five generations, when many of us lived and worked much more separated from it. 

The good news is, you don’t have to go for a 10k run or 2-hour long walk everyday to reap the benefits of being outdoors. Even short amounts of time reduce feelings of social isolation and protect our mental health efficiently while also preventing stress.

There are many ways you can reconnect with nature and even bring it to you! Mentalhealth.org.uk have published a great article and an accompanying document listing some of their top tips on the topic. You can find the blog here.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing. We offer a Wellbeing Hub and have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places mental wellbeing and dealing with the causes of stress as a priority, send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Looking back at the past year, it seems a good time to remind ourselves to not only look after our physical but also our mental wellbeing. That being said, those two very often go hand in hand, so going for a walk or hike in nature, for example, can help you boost both aspects of your life. 

While some had more time than ever before to pursue their hobbies and live a much slower life during the past 12 months, it has been a struggle for others. Some may have had to face uncertainty, felt lonely or experienced a decline in mental wellbeing. 

It is important to remember it is okay to not be okay, and there are lots of people, friends and organisations out there who want to help. So if you are finding things a little tough at the moment or if you are feeling good and want to keep it that way, why not try some of our top tips for self-care! 

Reach out

If you feel that you are struggling, please reach out to either friends or family, or one of the brilliant mental health charities like Mind, but also the Samaritans. Get whatever you’re dealing with off your chest rather than bottling it up. 

Take time for yourself

Do something you enjoy, whether that’s an activity or simply relaxing and reading a book or watching a film.

Start journaling

Having a gratitude journal can make a big difference to your thoughts and help you focus on the positives, rather than the negatives. Before you go to bed, sit down and write down 3 things that made you feel good that day. It might be as simple as your cup of coffee in the morning, that really helped you wake up. 

Do some yoga

You might be surprised how much a few simple yoga stretches can help calm your mind and keep stress at bay. A quick 10 minutes will already make a difference. 

Spend time outside

Now that it’s autumn, you can spot some amazing colours when you’re outside for a walk. Take some deep breaths to fill your lungs with the crisp autumn air.

We take Mental Health seriously

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places Mental Health and Wellbeing as a priority send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and peace. We get to spend some time with friends and family, eat good food and enjoy ourselves. 

However, it can also bring stress and financial pressures. On top of that, this year has been a very different one and we might not be able to spend Christmas the way we want to due to the pandemic. 

It is important to look after yourself and your mental wellbeing during this time and we have collated some tips to help you with this.

Stay connected

If you are unable to spend much or any time with loved ones for Christmas, make sure to stay connected with them, for example via Zoom or Facetime. That way you still get some interaction with them. Why not enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together or maybe even open presents while you speak to each other. 

Don’t bottle it up

If you feel that you can’t get in the festive spirit and that the past few months have had a bigger effect on you than you might have realised, confide in a friend or family member. Speaking about your fears and what is making you feel anxious can help you clear your mind and even lift those feelings. Make sure you don’t bottle it up.

Have some me time

If you are seeing family, allow yourself to still have some time for just you. Take a relaxing bath or read a book. The past year has been intense and this time is all about letting go of those pressures.

Do it yourself

Maybe you discovered some new skills during lockdown and it might be a great idea to put them to good use. If you got into baking or cooking, why not gift some homemade baked goods or jams. Discovered your love for knitting? You could make some lovely, unique hats which will come in really handy during the cold months. This can save you money and is a good way to give more personal gifts.

We hope that these tips help you feel calmer this Christmas.

If you think a new career is on the cards for you then keep an eye out for new opportunities on our website. Visit our careers page or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

Many people are finding themselves working from home for the first time, or with more family in the house than usual for a working week.

Maintaining focus when working from home can be challenging at the best of times and with all your family at home, it can test your focus to the limits! Here are some top tips for keeping productive whilst balancing family life during isolation. 

Working from home: with your partner

Set boundaries: Don’t pretend it doesn’t bother you when your partner broadcasts Skype meetings (or watches TV) while you try to answer emails. Also, don’t passive-aggressively work in the bathroom to hint that you’re not happy with the noise in the living room. Turns out a simple “Could you put on headphones?” is an effective way to get someone to, you know, put on headphones.

Designate private areas: Set up clear and separate areas for you each to work in your own way. Work out what works best for you. One of you needs the radio on whilst the other needs peace and quiet? Separation is probably best. If you like similar work environments carve up the dining table so you can work together. Need to take part in web meetings? Set up a meeting space where you can have uninterrupted quiet.

Come up with a schedule together: Sync up your work breaks to enjoy some quality time together in between the work. Share meals, take turns cooking and cleaning up, take a coffee break or agree a time to switch-off and plan a joint activity for the evening. Knowing when your next break is can help keep you focused on completing the task at hand motivated to get the job done before your break. 

Working from home: with toddlers

Get up early: The best way to work when your toddler is around is by getting as much done as possible when they aren’t. This means setting an alarm an hour or two before they are up for the day.

If you do your best thinking in the morning, tackle your largest projects sans distractions during this time. But if you’re not a morning person, getting up early can still be useful. Have a cup of coffee and use this time to organise yourself, respond to quick email requests, and plan out the rest of your workday.

Take Advantage of Nap Time: Enforcing a nap time each day is not only important for your little one’s health and development, but it’s also critical for you. If you can, encourage a long nap of two to three hours in the afternoon.

Encourage Independent Play: Independent play is important for toddler development and should be encouraged. For working parents, independent play can give mum or dad some much needed time to get work done. Busy bags are a great way to entice your toddlers to play by themselves. They’re exactly what they sound like: bags of simple activities designed to keep toddlers busy.

Give Your Toddler Undivided Attention: In these unprecedented times, take advantage of the benefits they offer. Leaving work behind physically is not possible, and it can be tough to let it go mentally as well. But if your toddler is trying to get your attention, chances are, they’re not going to stop until they succeed. Put your to-do list aside, log off the computer, and give your toddler the attention they need and deserve.

Set boundaries and make sure there are plenty of work-free times throughout the day. After all, the biggest perk of working from home is spending time with your toddler – so make sure you take advantage of it.

Working from home: with kids

Start off on the right foot: No matter how many tasks are on your to-do list, its important to create a schedule that includes time for your kids – ideally prior to hunkering down. Give them some undistracted time (no phone in your hand!) before you need to work.

By doing this, you’re giving them the attention they need to feel seen and secure, which should help prepare them to play more independently when you need to focus on work. Eat breakfast together, offer them your undivided attention and then set some clear expectations about the day ahead.

Adjust your schedule: If your job doesn’t require you to be on the clock at specific times, consider adjusting your schedule to work when your children are sleeping or less active. Doing your hardest work first is a good strategy for anyone, it allows you the freedom to be more present and feel like you can step away for an hour or so when the kids wake up and make breakfast.

Set up your workspace and set some boundaries: Even if you don’t have a home office, it’s important to establish a defined work area at home – and to let your kids know that when you’re in work mode, you’re not to be disturbed. Ideally, look for a quiet corner of the house where you can set up everything you need to work through your tasks as efficiently as possible. 

Prevent boredom for your kids by mixing things up: Kids of all ages appreciate having something new and different to occupy them, try a toy rotation to keep them immersed in play. Take a few minutes to sort through their toys, organising them into separate bins, then keeping only a select few out for them to play with.

The idea is that having fewer toys encourages deeper play. Guide your kids toward activities that don’t require your assistance or constant supervision.

Reserve some activities for special occasions: Got an important Skype meeting or rushing toward a deadline? Have some back-pocket activities at the ready that your child loves and can occupy them for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Embrace healthy screen time: No one will send you to parent jail for allowing your kids to hop on a tablet for a while – especially if you’re directing them to fun and educational resources. There are plenty of sites and apps that encourage physical wellness with an array of free activities, such as free games that teach maths, spelling and music skills.

For school-aged kids whose classroom routines have been disrupted, stay on track with learning resources. Many museums offer free virtual tours and zoos have camera feeds to watch the animals. 

Working from home: with pets 

Create A Separate, Pet-Free Work Space: The best way to ensure your pet isn’t going to put a kink in the flow of your workday is to keep them in a separate area. Yes, it’s nice to be able to cuddle your pet while you are listening in on a conference call, but doing this tells them they can get your attention whenever they want. Setting up a separate workspace is great, not just for you and your pet, but also for your work-life balance in general. It helps makes you feel like you aren’t actually living in your office.

Keep pets occupied: If animals are bored or anxious, it can lead to destructive behaviours like chewing, marking or scratching around the house. To avoid an interruption to your workflow – like stopping to scold your pup for chewed up shoes – make sure they have plenty of physical and mental stimulation for when you’re hard at work.

Give your pet some attention time: Be it taking your dog out for a nice walk, having cat cuddles on the sofa or teaching your pet parrot some funny new phrases, make sure to make time for your pet. Give them your full attention in some of your breaks to make sure they are feeling the love and they may be better able to keep themselves distracted whilst you’re on your work conference.

At tough times like these, it’s important to look after your mental wellbeing, especially during social distancing and isolation. Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.

It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help to look after your mental wellbeing during social distancing. In addition, staying mentally and physically active during this time such as:

  • Look for exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
  • Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden
  • You can also go for a walk or exercise outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others

Understandably a key factor to support positive mental health is spending time with friends and family. 

What steps can you take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?

Draw on the support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use an NHS recommended helpline.

Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

As you may be aware, the Advance TRS team has taken on the challenge of walking 10k steps a day throughout March again this year. We’re excited to raise money for Surrey-based mental health charity Oakleaf. Team members are asked to donate money for each day they don’t reach the 10k steps target. At Advance TRS raising money for charity, taking on personal challenges and fundraising activities to advance others has been a core founding principle.

You can read more about the challenge in last week’s blog post.

It is well-known that besides the physical benefits, getting up and moving also has a big impact on our mental well-being.

Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety

You don’t have to go on hour-long hikes. Going for a 30-minute walk each day can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The same can be said for stress. If you’ve had a busy day at work, going for a wander afterwards might help to clear your head.

Better sleep and improved mood

Going for regular walks will help you sleep better and leave you with higher energy levels throughout the day. The endorphins released into your body during a walk can help to improve your mood and make you feel happier.

Better memory

Daily walks also have a positive effect on your memory and your mind, cutting the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by around 45%.

Other health benefits associated with walking

Going for regular walks can drastically lower your risk of having strokes or developing heart disease or diabetes and can even add a couple of years to your life. 

Even getting in a few minutes of walking each day, whether it’s during your lunch break, before or after work or with a friend on a day off will greatly benefit your health and mental wellbeing. Time to get up and start moving! 

If you’d like to help us reach our target, you can make a donation to Oakleaf here.

At Advance TRS, we understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all. We take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019.

Follow Advance TRS charity and fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

For the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health in the workplace for further information.

#ATRS10KCHALLENGE

Many of us spend a big chunk of our workdays at a desk. So it might not come as a surprise that your workspace can make a big difference to your motivation and productivity. A tidy desk can equal a clear mind and help you work more efficiently. We’ve collated some tips to help you improve your workplace.

Plants

Having plants around you won’t just give your workspace a nicer look and feel, they also help to keep the air fresher and cleaner. 

Desks and chairs – quality counts

We spend big chunks of our days sitting at desks. This can have a significant impact on your posture and general wellbeing. A desk that allows you to adjust its height, so you can either stand or sit down while working can make a real difference to your health and productivity.

It is also worth investing in chairs that support the back and enable an ideal sitting position. 

Bright and breezy

It’s also a good idea to keep the office light and bright, using lighter shades for your walls instead of dark colours. The odd splash of colour here and there will give it a great look. 

Utilise and maximise natural daylight wherever you can as this, too, will help with productivity. 

Offer storage options

A cluttered desk means more distractions and can impact your productivity and concentration. Having storage options where you can put paperwork and utensils will keep your desk much tidier and in turn, help to stay focused. 

We hope these points give you some inspiration for improvements you might have been wanting to make to your own workspace!

Are you looking to take the next step in your career?

If you’re a driven and ambitious individual and you’re currently looking to take the next step in your career then we’d love to hear from you. 

Advance TRS is growing quickly, so we are always looking for new people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

We’re delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Perkbox Workplace Culture Awards, which recognise the businesses who go above and beyond to ensure employees are happy in their work-life balance. 

Please vote for us in the medium-sized category of the awards

As recruiters we really understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to any successful business and creating a fantastic working environment is one of our top priorities. 

The positive mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues are of high importance to our board and senior management team and we have therefore committed significant time as a business to ensure all employees feel supported and can access help.

We have appointed two trained Mental Health First Aiders and provide a Wellbeing Hub on our Intranet, offering impartial and confidential support via a 24-hour counselling helpline. We also run quarterly Workshops with all staff to increase general awareness, explaining what support is available and highlighting different methods of self-help or wellness techniques for everyday living.

The comprehensive benefits and rewards package we offer to our staff includes a private company pension scheme, a premium-free Group Private Medical Insurance plan and access to our exciting perks and discounts platform facilitated by Perkbox, amongst other things. 

To find out more about Advance TRS and what our colleagues think, watch this short video or take a look at our website.

If you want to take the next step in your career look no further, Advance TRS are hiring! We are always looking for talented and motivated individuals, as part of our business’s strategic talent acquisition programme. Whether you are an entrepreneurial individual, established recruitment team or small businesses with shared values, we would love to hear from you.

If you are interested in joining Advance TRS’s recruitment teams or business support staff in our Port Solent or Guildford offices, contact Paul Metcalfe for a discrete conversation on 07793 55 413 or apply online.

We have taken a look at what can help you lower your stress levels.

In 2018/19 a staggering 602,000 workers in the UK suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and 12.8 million working days were lost as a result, according to a Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Long-term stress can have big effects on an individual’s mental and physical health and therefore it’s important to take steps to alleviate it. There are simple things we can all incorporate into our daily routines to help us cope better.

Exercise

While physical activity won’t make stress disappear, it is proven to significantly improve mood and wellbeing by metabolising excessive stress hormones, helping you feel calmer. If you start to feel overwhelmed, going for a brisk walk can help you relax.

A good night’s sleep

Lack of sleep is a major cause of stress and unfortunately, when we feel stressed it can be difficult to fall asleep. Therefore, it’s important to take time to relax before going to bed. Taking a warm bath or reading a book can both help to calm your brain. Try to avoid having caffeinated drinks during the late afternoon and evening. You will soon notice how much calmer you feel after a relaxing night’s sleep.

Communicate

Talking to someone, whether a colleague, friend or family member, can make a significant difference in how you feel. It might distract you from stressful thoughts for some time or even release some of the built-up tension.

Avoid caffeine

Try to avoid over-consumption of caffeine or at least reduce it when you are already feeling stressed, as this might increase the stress response in your body. Instead, why not try herbal or fruit teas?

Make a to-do list

Prioritising your work will help you identify the tasks that make a real difference, so you can complete these first and leave less important work to last. Ticking tasks off as you go will also give you a sense of accomplishment. Just remember that your in-tray will most likely never be empty.

At Advance TRS, we prioritise our staff’s wellbeing and get together every week to practise relaxation techniques, go for walks at lunchtime or just chat. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub and have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders, who will act as the first point of contact for anyone feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places mental wellbeing and dealing with the causes of stress as a priority, send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Today six of our colleagues braved the firewalk for World Mental Health Day 2019 and raised an amazing £559.25 for Surrey-based mental health charity Oakleaf Enterprise. A big thanks to everyone who donated so generously! 

Before the walk, the team received an hour’s training where they learned how to master the walk. It also involved snapping arrows on their necks.

Since establishing, charity work and fundraising have been a key priority for Founder Andy Ridout and the wider Advance TRS team and everyone did really well today and made it look so easy!

The charity

Oakleaf Enterprise is a Surrey-based mental health charity which also works as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues.

It was registered as a charity in 1997 and has since then worked hard to benefit people in need. Their main focus is delivering vocational training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as the first step on their return to the workplace.

About mental health

Mental health issues are common and can present in a wide variety of ways. One in four people suffers from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on their work life. Recognising problems early and implementing initiatives to support staff and colleagues will be of real benefit to them. 

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff and understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all. We take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019. 

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health for further information.

Mental Health issues are common, especially depression, anxiety and those associated with misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Research indicates that 1 in 4 people experience some form of mental health issue in a year.

There are many myths and misunderstandings about mental health issues stemming from a lack of knowledge. This may result in people avoiding or not responding to someone with mental ill-health or not seeking professional help themselves. With greater community awareness, people will be able to better understand their own mental health and feel more comfortable about seeking out professional assistance.

Early intervention initiatives target those with mental health issues or developing mental health issues to prevent difficulties from becoming more serious and reducing the risk of knock-on effects.

Take a look at our Mental Health Matters Magazine for more information.

What you can do to help your colleagues:

Look out for changes in their mood and behaviour

Are they late or absent from work more? Are they isolating themselves? Do they get agitated easily and often feel overwhelmed? These could all be signs that someone is struggling with their mental health.

Talk

If you are concerned about a colleague, check if they’re ok. Ask them if they want to go for a walk or a cup of tea. Create a safe environment so they can open up to you if they need to.

Invite them for lunch 

Especially in contracting, where someone might move roles and businesses regularly, it can help them to feel more included and maintain social contact at work.

Create an environment where mental health is spoken about openly

Let colleagues know that it is ok to ask for help and support and encourage it. An Intranet page with useful links and information on confidential support services that are available can also be useful. 

Do some physical or mindfulness exercises… 

…as a team once or twice a week during lunch. This might become a regular activity that helps your colleagues’ mental wellbeing and acts as a team bonding exercise at the same time.

If you or someone you know needs urgent help or support, there are a variety of services available. Your organisation may also provide you with confidential access to counselling and advice line services.

Remember, you are not alone! 

We take Mental Health seriously

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

We are currently recruiting, so if you want to work for a company that places Mental Health and Wellbeing as a priority send us your CV or take a look at our latest vacancies.

Thursday 10th October marks World Mental Health Day and in true Advance TRS fashion, our bravest team members are taking on another challenge. In a bid to raise awareness for mental health and money for a great charity, the team will be focusing their minds over matter and walking on more than 500°C hot coals. 

Since establishing, charity fundraising and awareness-raising have been a key priority for Founder Andy Ridout and the wider Advance TRS team. This latest effort will see our firewalkers take part in an hour-long training seminar by two-time Guinness World Record holder Scott Bell before stepping onto the embers. We wish them the best of luck and will have the ambulance on speed dial.

Please click here to donate and help our team reach their goal.

The charity

The event is hosted by Oakleaf, a Surrey-based mental health charity which also works as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues.

Oakleaf Enterprise was registered as a charity in 1997 and has since then worked hard to benefit people in need. Their main focus is delivering vocational training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as the first step on their return to the workplace.

About mental health

Mental health problems can present in a wide variety of ways and out of Guildford, Waverley and Woking’s 214,900 population of 18 to 64-year-olds, it is estimated that 19,242 people suffer mixed depression and anxiety. 

Overall, one in four people suffers from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on their work life. Recognising problems early and implementing initiatives to support staff and colleagues will be of real benefit to them. 

At Advance TRS, we understand that reducing work-related stress can be hugely beneficial to all, and take our obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees seriously. Our comprehensive wellness programme and mental health awareness training have recently been recognised as Advance TRS were shortlisted as finalists in the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing category in the Solent Business Awards 2019. 

Follow our fundraising activities on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest news and take a look at our Advance Advice on Mental Health in the workplace for further information.

Technical recruitment agency Advance TRS are delighted to be shortlisted as Finalists in the Solent Business Awards 2019 for the Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing Award. 

As a recruitment business operating within the built environment our employees, contractors and client contracts are working in, statistically, some of the most challenging and stress-inducing environments.

Group Founder and Managing Director, Andy Ridout explains;

“We take our duty of care seriously, investing heavily in building awareness of Mental Health to best support staff and contractors to spot signs of difficulty in themselves and others and ensuring they have the support they need to get help. I’m delighted to see these efforts recognised in the Solent Business Awards shortlist.”

The rapidly growing recruitment company opened offices on the South Coast in 2018, headed up by Water & Infrastructure Director Rob Kelly, formerly of Matchtech. The South Coast office, with views over the sea, is Advance TRS’s latest addition as part of the company’s overall acquisition and expansion strategy and has already grown rapidly, employing more people from the local area. 

Our Marketing & Development Manager, Ella Gardiner champions the business’s Employee Engagement and Wellbeing programme and acts as a go-to person for anyone in the business seeking advice or guidance on how to access further support, or who simply needs to speak to a listening ear. As our Mental Health First Aider, Ella is there to listen to employees, offer support and signpost to methods of self-help or professional support services.

“As we start out in our journey of promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing as a business, this acknowledgement of the work, time and money we have invested so far in our team is really exciting” explains Ella. 

To find out more about Advance TRS’s Mental Health & Wellbeing programme follow us on social media or visit the Advance Advice blog.

If you are looking for a new move in your career look no further, Advance TRS are hiring! We are always looking for talented and motivated individuals, as part of our business’s strategic talent acquisition programme. Whether you are an entrepreneurial individual, established recruitment team or small businesses with shared values, we would love to hear from you.

If you are interested in joining Advance TRS’s recruitment teams or business support staff in our Port Solent or Guildford offices, contact Paul Metcalfe for a discrete conversation on 07793 55 413 or apply online at www.advance-trs.com.

Click here to view our CV tips and Click here to download our FREE CV template.

Awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace has risen dramatically in recent years, as one in four people suffer from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on a company. It is therefore important to recognise problems early and to implement initiatives to support staff and colleagues. The business and its employees will benefit from it.

There are different measures to be taken when wanting to improve mental wellbeing at work. It is a good idea to put in place a plan to help with this. Below are some points worth considering:

Mental health first aid

Mental health first aid courses are a great way to enable managers and team members to identify colleagues suffering from mental ill health and support them appropriately. Therefore, one of the first steps a business might choose to take is to select a number of ‘mental wellbeing champions’ to attend the course.

Educating staff

It is also a good idea to educate staff on what can be done to improve and maintain mental wellbeing. For example, taking up hobbies, being active and having a balanced diet might not prevent stress and anxiety but can help relieve them.

By enabling an office environment where staff can speak openly about issues they are facing with their managers (or mental wellbeing champions), team members are less likely to require time away from work, as the business will have created a culture of trust. This will help to alleviate any initial stress when a team member is seeking advice about their situation.

Mental health policy

Writing up a mental health policy for employees will provide them with the necessary information on who to speak to and where to look for further support, i.e. websites, charities and other organisations.

Mental wellbeing at Advance TRS

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

Click here to view more of our tips or take a look at our latest live jobs here.

Network Rail has a zero-tolerance approach to individuals attending work whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most companies will have the same approach.

Network Rail have now brought in random drugs and alcohol testing which will take place on site and in the office at any time without prior notice.

Here are the alcohol limits within Network Rail:

29 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood

13 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath

39 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of urine

These limits are set by the Railway Group Standard GE/RT8070 and are considerably lower than the government driving guidelines.

Failure to consent to testing or leaving the site before testing is completed will be regarded as a refusal to submit to testing. A positive result would then be recorded and dealt with in the same way as someone who had tested over the limit.

The possible consequences of a positive test result could be:

  • PTS certificate revoked for five years
  • Disciplinary procedure
  • Sentinel card cancelled

If you report a drugs or alcohol problem voluntarily to your line manager, HR department or supervisor and this is not reported as a consequence of expecting a positive test result, you will be able to receive support and assistance and begin a programme of rehabilitation.

You can go to further support with the following:

Validium – Employee assistance provider

0800 3584858 OR

03303329980 (24-hour phone line)

 

OH Assist – Occupational health support

0845 6080656 OR

Click here

Here are some more Drugs & Alcohol Panels cut off levels:

Source: Express Medicals Limited

Other ways to get help

There are a wide range of advice, treatment and support services for addiction in the UK. Anyone with a substance related problem can have access to such services.

Your GP might offer to treat you or might refer you to your local specialist drug service. Most local community drug units also run drop-in centres which don’t require a referral from a doctor. You should be able to find information about these on the internet or ask at your doctors’ surgery.

Don’t forget you can call Frank to discuss any issues you have confidentially on:

0800 776600