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​APHC unveils mental health support campaign

Organisation announces it will be working with The Samaritans for latest Quality Plumber Week campaign to offer mental health support for individuals working across the heating sector

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has said mental health awareness will be the key focus of this year’s Quality Plumber Week campaign. The latest campaign kicks off today (7 October) and will run until 13 October.

APHC chief executive John Thompson said that it was important to ensure a better industry understanding of the effects on mental health due to pressures put upon on individuals working across the plumbing and heating sector. He said that the issue is pertinent for the sector considering the number of sole traders working in areas such as HVAC and the pressure they face working in the daytime, as well as regular evenings to deal with the administration of their companies.

Mr Thompson said, “Dealing with these work pressures inevitably means their work-life balance isn’t always in check which then becomes an additional pressure.”

APHC has therefore partnered with The Samaritans for the latest Quality Plumber Week in order to offer more practical information and advice on where support may be available for individuals working across the sector to better deal with issues they may face.

The association said that an estimated one in six workers in the UK struggle with mental health issues. This is estimated to impact at least 350,000 people in the construction sector, according to APHC.

Self-employed plumbing and heating engineer Lee Woodgate has been interviewed by the association as part of the event to provide an account of his own experience of dealing with mental health issues. This will build on his role as co-founder of the MENtalk social media group that allows individuals concerned or dealing with mental health issues to seek help. Plumber Lauren Winter will also be sharing her experiences and offering guidance through a special blog as part of the latest campaign.

Paul McDonald, executive director of external affairs at Samaritans welcomed the decision by APHC to focus on mental health and support.

He said, “Plumbing and heating contractors often work on their own and don’t always have the same level of interaction that other people might have in the workplace, so it’s important to raise awareness of the support available and encourage people to seek help.”

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.

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