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Prime minister visits Morgan Sindall construction site in Norfolk as workplace mental health report released

Prime minister Theresa May speaks to staff at construction company Morgan Sindall about mental health during a visit to the firm's Chapel Green School development in Old Buckenham. Picture: Bethany Whymark

Prime minister Theresa May speaks to staff at construction company Morgan Sindall about mental health during a visit to the firm's Chapel Green School development in Old Buckenham. Picture: Bethany Whymark

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The prime minister has reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring employers take care of their workers’ mental wellbeing during a visit to a construction company in Norfolk.

Prime minister Theresa May speaks during a visit to construction company Morgan Sindall's Chapel Green School development in Old Buckenham. Picture: Bethany WhymarkPrime minister Theresa May speaks during a visit to construction company Morgan Sindall's Chapel Green School development in Old Buckenham. Picture: Bethany Whymark

At Morgan Sindall’s Chapel Green School development in Old Buckenham, Theresa May spoke to workers and managers at the firm about its mental health practices and the problem of poor mental health in the construction industry – which has a suicide rate almost four times the national average.

It follows the release of a report into mental health in the workplace by campaigner Lord Dennis Stevenson and Mind chief executive Paul Farmer.

READ MORE: Theresa May visits Norwich to talk mental health, PCSOs and more

READ MORE: Mental illness leads 300,000 workers to lose or leave their jobs each year

In a statement to mark the report’s release, Mrs May said Morgan Sindall was “doing excellent work” to raise awareness of mental health issues among its staff and support those with problems.

The company has been part of the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index for the past two years.

Speaking at the Chapel Green School site, Mrs May said: “The treatment of people with mental health problems is one of the injustices that we need to deal with in our society. For too long this issue has not been given the attention it needs.

“I am please that the Stevenson-Farmer review has shown the importance of employers taking seriously the issue of mental health and mental wellbeing of their employees.

“One of the issues is people not feeling able to talk about their mental health problems. We want people to feel they can come forward when they have mental health problems and that their employer will respond positively.”

She added: “Dealing with mental health is not just about the NHS, it is more widely about our society removing the stigma attached to mental health and what goes on in our workplaces has a lot to do with that.”

Saul Humphrey, East Anglia managing director at Morgan Sindall, was pleased the company had received recognition for its work to push mental health up the agenda.

“Some people perceive the problems in the construction industry to be worse than they are in other industries. There is a stigma in terms of recognising mental health and we are doing our bit to raise awareness and talk about it.

“Everyone has mental health, whether it is in a good place or a bad place, and hopefully this review will act as a catalyst for those conversations.”

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