A Big Brew event at Jewson in Woking was the focal point for a film by DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles - and was recently screened on the hugely popular BBC One programme the One Show.
The film was timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week and featured Nick talking to tradespeople about the mental health crisis in the construction industry and exploring the reasons why the suicide rate in the sector is far higher than in other professions.
In the film, one tradesperson spoke about how only the week previously one of his friends had taken their own life. He added that the suicide came as a shock because there were no clues or tell-tale signs that the person was struggling with their mental health.
Nick also spoke to Dan, a painter and decorator, who bravely spoke openly about his mental health struggles and the steps he has in place to help. Dan was praised for his positive message to others who find themselves in similar circumstances.
All of the people featured in the film should be applauded for speaking out about their own experiences – not just because it was on the telly, but because it was an opportunity to reach out to fellow tradespeople who may be facing their own mental health crisis.
And it did.
Band of Builders CEO Gavin Crane said that within minutes of the film airing, the charity started seeing enquiries about the support that its mental health and well-being service can provide.
He said that the exposure of being on such a popular programme as the One Show had given to the charity was astounding. However, the most fundamentally important benefit it provided was that tradespeople in crisis were taking that all-important first step and seeking help.
“We can’t thank Nick Knowles and the BBC enough for throwing a spotlight on the issue of mental health in the construction industry in a TV programme that reaches millions of people every night,” he said.
“It was incredible to see the response straight away with a spike in enquiries for our service and the general chatter on our social media platforms was really heart-warming.
“Even if just one tradesperson - or their family - has been prompted to seek help then it’s all been worth it.
Funded as a direct result of our Big Brew campaign, our new Volunteer Assistance Programme has been designed to help people who find themselves struggling with depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, relationship and marital problems or financial issues.
Tradespeople can access counselling and associated services including: legal information, financial information, consumer information, career guidance, life coaching, mediation, health information, cancer support, autism support, elderly care support and parent coaching.
There’s also access to lots of help and advice to improve well-being including: nutrition, fitness, general health, specific areas such as heart health, sleep strategies and the psychology of behavioural change.
More information can be found at https://bandofbuilders.org/pages/wellbeing-support