Mental health matters


On National Stress Awareness Day (3 November) Russell Roof Tiles has revealed it is rolling out its first dedicated programme to support its team’s mental health and wellbeing.

Russell Roof Tiles (RRT) is the largest independent manufacturer of concrete derivatives in the UK pitched roofing market and employs approx. 150 staff including at three sites in Burton on Trent and Lochmaben (Scotland).

National Stress Awareness Day was set up by the International Stress Management Association, with the mission of raising awareness of the effects of distress in the workplace and strategies to address it. Always held on a Wednesday (usually the most exhausting and stressful day) the day aims to remind everyone that good stress management is essential to provide best possible performance.

Russell Roof Tiles is offering its staff support through a number of different initiatives including in person and virtual one to one session and groups sessions.

Andrew Hayward, Managing Director at Russell Roof Tiles said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our staff very seriously and are pleased we’re able to provide support by way of expert advice and counselling.

“It has been a difficult time for many, with the long-lasting impact of Covid-19 hitting individuals and families. With winter fast approaching and though the festive season for many is a time filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings for some it can be a time of loneliness and anxiety.”

Latest reports by show that men aged 45-49 continue to have the highest suicide rate (23.8 per 100,000) there is also a regional variation in the suicide rates. The Northeast of England had the highest suicide rate (13.3. per 100,000) in 2020, which has been the case in five out of the last 10 preceding years and saw an increase of 15.7 per cent compared to 2019.

Russell Roof Tiles’ initiative follows the recent ‘Big Brew’, campaign, launched last month to address the mental health crisis in the construction sector.

The campaign comes as the current suicide rate of UK construction workers is estimated to be as high as two people every day. UK construction workers are also nearly three times more likely to die by suicide than their counterparts in other industries. Construction charity Band of Builders (BoB), which established the Big Brew, is organising a range of events on construction sites and at builders’ merchants to encourage the industry to discuss mental health issues and break down the stigma.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive have found that in the UK alone, more than 400,000 working days were lost to mental health issues in 2018, with mental health issues costing the sector approximately £37 billion every year.

Russell Roof Tiles is a leading independent pitched roof tile manufacturer supplying products for the top housebuilders and high-profile social housing and commercial projects. The company produces thousands of tiles every week that are used on roofing across the UK, for all the UK’s premier housebuilders and developers.