Mental health module added to construction courses

A mental health and well-being module is to be embedded into every construction course curriculum on offer at Highlands College following a partnership between the Our Hospital Project's Design and Delivery Partner and Mind Jersey.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, RoKFCC JV has made the commitment to building healthier futures for Islanders working in construction and aims to have the module introduced in September 2021 to coincide with the new cohort of OHP Built Environment Apprentices starting their courses.

To develop the industry-wide, education-led initiative – the first of its kind in Jersey – Mind Jersey interviewed 120 Highlands College staff, students and career mentors, as well as the OHP team, to gather insights and feedback from both those currently working in, and those studying to enter and progress in the construction industry.

Richard de Gruchy, Legacy Director for RoKFCC JV, said: "Having worked in the construction industry for more than 20 years, I'm immensely proud to lead and support this initiative. Beyond building a new hospital for Jersey, the project is also committed to investing in Jersey's young people through education – building healthier career futures and prospects for Islanders working in construction."

Tina Hesse, Children and Young People's Mental Health Service Manager for Mind Jersey, said: "Over the course of a week, I held eight focus group and seven one-to-one sessions at Highlands College. I gained valuable feedback and heard some great ideas from staff, mentors, and students, who were involved in full and part-time construction courses of various disciplines and levels of study. There was genuine interest and strong support in this initiative, with many feeling that it would further encourage people, especially men, to open up, talk and access the help that they need sooner." 

Tony Tyrer, Director of Construction and Engineering at Highlands College said: "I'm very supportive of the Our Hospital Project's commitment to improving mental health in the workplace. Embedding mental health into the health and safety module throughout the construction curriculum sends a strong message that mental health is as important as physical health – something that we need to collectively look out for and actively manage in the office and on site."