TVO supports EA mental health awareness campaign


Team Van Oord is using a new Environment Agency campaign to encourage its employees to take a positive approach to mental wellbeing .

The Environment Agency’s ‘R U OKAY?’ campaign is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues and in turn empower sufferers to take action.

The campaign runs on a simple premise – start a conversation with anyone who you believe may be struggling with their mental wellbeing.

To support the campaign, the EA has published a simple guide (the key points of which are detailed below), giving advice on how to raise the subject and have a meaningful conversation and where and how people can obtain help.

According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people in the UK experiences a mental health problem each year. Mind says factors such as worrying about money and work can make it harder for people to cope.

Phil Ramsay, TVO National Framework Manager, said: “‘R U OKAY’ is an excellent initiative from the Environment Agency, providing clear and simple advice to help people broach the tricky subject of mental wellbeing with a friend or work colleague.

“The health and safety of our employees is an absolute priority at Team Van Oord, including mental wellbeing which is all too easily overlooked.

“We will be using this campaign as part of a 12-month health and wellbeing programme we are running to keep our employees in the best shape to carry out their responsibilities, and to enjoy their lives to the full.”

24 February 2017

‘R U OK?’ – key information and advice

Trust your instincts
Got a niggling feeling that someone you know or care about just isn’t themselves? By starting a conversation that person will know you’re someone who cares enough to ask.

Getting ready to start a conversation
To help you decide whether you’re ready to start a meaningful conversation, ask yourself:

  • Am I ready? Am I willing to listen? Can I give as much time as needed?
  • Am I prepared? Do I understand that if I ask is someone’s okay I might get the answer
    “No, I’m Not”?
  • Do I understand that I can’t fix problems? Do I accept they might not want
    to talk?
  • Have I picked my moment? Am I somewhere private? Will it be a good time for them to
    have a chat? Have I made sure there’s enough time?

Having a chat

  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach.
  • Ask “How are you going?” or “what’s been happening?”
  • Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them.
  • Am I comfortable if they get upset?
  • If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise.
  • Tell them you’re still concerned and you care about them.
  • Avoid a confrontation.
  • You could say: “Let me know if you ever want to chat” or “Is there someone else you’d rather talk to?”

Listen without judgement – take them seriously and don’t rush. Don’t judge their experiences or reactions.

  • Be patient if they need time to think. Encourage them to explain by asking questions.
  • Show you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard in your own words and ask if you’ve understood properly.

Encourage action and check in

  • Ask how they’d like to be supported or suggest something that may have helped you.
  • Encourage them to see their GP or call HELP on 0800 028 5147.
  • Stay in touch and check back with them in a couple of weeks to ask ‘how’s it going?’.