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These are unprecedented times, as we all know, and there is much that we in the construction community are keeping our eye on – whether or not to open sites, government financial support for businesses, supply chain difficulties and more. All those things matter to the future of our industry. However, there is something which is sometimes overlooked but is arguably more important. It’s the mental health and wellbeing of those we love, live and work with.

Since 1992 the CIOB has had a Benevolent Fund which has provided support to members facing financial or employment issues. I’m proud to say that since January of this year we’ve also been able to offer specialised support to members living with anxiety, stress or anxiety-based depression via a partnership with Anxiety UK.

This was an entirely new service for CIOB members to access and a hugely positive development for the Benevolent Fund. Members, and anyone who’s ever been a member, now has access to services focussed on wellbeing and mental health support, in addition to the provision of advice focussed on finance and employment.

This wellbeing and mental health support is available to members completely free at the point of use, as costs of the Anxiety UK service are met entirely by the Benevolent Fund.

I said at the time of launching the Anxiety UK partnership that the Benevolent Fund’s trustees welcomed the opportunity to reach out and offer members this important new service. We were all aware that talking about mental health and wellbeing is an issue in the construction sector and one which the CIOB has also examined from a policy point-of-view.

The Benevolent Fund’s Vice-Chair, Peter Smith FCIOB, has recently said: “…now we are in the mist of this coronavirus pandemic, with the increased levels of stress it has put upon many of those in our Institute, it is top of the agenda to do our bit for those in need of help and support. More members have found themselves and their families in difficult times affecting their financial status, health and of course their mental wellbeing. For that very important reason the CIOB Benevolent Fund are extremely pleased that we are in partnership with Anxiety UK – they are here to help members and have the expertise and training to provide the support that members need and deserve.”

In order to be eligible for support from Anxiety UK via our Benevolent Fund, an applicant simply needs to be, or at some point to have been, a CIOB member – and I want to emphasise that this service is available to CIOB members worldwide. Eligibility also extends to the dependant family of the member.

To access the Anxiety UK service for CIOB members, please contact: +44 (0)1344 630877. This dedicated number will lead enquirers to a member of the CIOB Team, who will in turn facilitate referral to Anxiety UK. You can also reach the Benevolent Fund and access the Anxiety UK support via email: [email protected]

I also want to take a moment to remind everyone that the CIOB Benevolent Fund itself was created from the generosity of members, allowing us to offer support to members around the world. So I’m extending a heartfelt thank you to every single person who has donated to the Benevolent Fund over the years and supported their colleagues and peers throughout the construction community. 

More information about the partnership between the Benevolent Fund and Anxiety UK can be found here: https://www.ciobbenevolentfund.org.uk/anxiety-uk/

 

Anxiety UK:

Anxiety UK, formed in 1970, works to support those living with anxiety disorders, stress and anxiety-based depression. The charity provides information and support via a range of services. These include psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling and clinical hypnotherapy, delivered via the charity’s national network of Approved Therapists. Email, text and instant messaging support is also available, along with helpline services and information resources. Find out more about Anxiety UK here: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/about-us/