Raising Awareness of Mental Health in Construction – Join us on the Flag

We are delighted to be backing specification manager Ian Dryden’s initiative to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and provide information about mental health in construction.

You can help by sponsoring the flag he takes on all his climbs.

Ian will be climbing the highest freestanding mountain in the world and several other peaks in aid of the Samaritans and MIND and to raise awareness of what we can all do about the huge challenge of mental health issues in the UK construction industry. The Kilimanjaro climb will take place in December 2019, and Ian is planning to summit on 1st January 2020. In the meantime there’s a lot of training to do and he’s aiming to climb several Munros across the UK next year as well.

On each of Ian’s climbs, including the Kilimanjaro trek, he’ll be accompanied by a flag which he will take to each of the summits – not only Kilimanjaro but Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdon, for example.

Kilimanjaro by Global Landscapes Forum

Ian will be posting regularly on social media and video during the entire adventure, and the flag will feature in many of these posts.

A Personal Journey

Ian on the roofIan has a personal reason for wanting to put himself through this challenge. Earlier this year he went through a difficult break up of his marriage and contemplated suicide, but fortunately the Samaritans were there for him and his colleagues provided support. You can read his story here – it’s a tale of great courage.

75% of suicides in the UK are men, and partly because men (particularly younger men) make up the UK construction workforce, the rate of suicides amongst UK construction workers is TEN TIMES higher (estimated at 450 a year) than the rate of deaths in construction due to workplace accidents – already a matter of concern. That’s two of our colleagues every day, taking their own lives.

Construction is also a highly stressful job with long and demanding working hours, working away from home on site for weeks at a time, not to mention the unease in the industry in recent years due to various events. The Office For National Statistics says that the most vulnerable construction workers are young men in low skilled trades, but until recently the stigma around depression and mental health has prevented many people from seeking help.

If you need to talk to someone now, Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. You can talk to them any time you like, in your own way, about whatever’s getting to you.

Get Involved in Supporting Ian’s campaign!

We’re asking organisations who would like to support Ian to get involved by firstly sponsoring the flag. If you provide sponsorship your money will go to help Samaritan’s work and your logo will be displayed on the flag which Ian will take and display on all his climbs.

This is your opportunity to support this campaign, to raise awareness of the shocking statistics for mental health in construction and to help Ian share ways in which we can all help change things.

  • If you would like to sponsor the flag please contact Ian at Iandryden@siplc.com or 07717 361 762. Places are limited so don’t delay!
  • Ian will be video blogging (vlogging) about the statistics and the initiatives many in the industry are taking to turn the tide. We’d like you to follow his social media accounts and join in sharing the messages with the hashtag #IanClimbsKMJ and #ItIsOkayNotToBeOkay. Find him on Twitter at @IanDrydenClimbs and on Linkedin. We’ll also be publishing his videos on our Youtube Channel.
  • Ian also has a JustGiving page for his Kilimanjaro climb, raising money for the Samaritans. You can visit his fundraising page and donate.
  • You can also text “IAND99 £5” to 70070 to automatically donate £5 to the campaign. Change the £5 to any amount you can afford from £1 and over.

Thank you for reading, we look forward to sharing more news with you over the coming year.

Thank you to Global Landscape Forum for the picture of Mt Kilimanjaro