A regular blog where Tessa travels the highways and byways of the South West meeting people from all walks of life and Introducing them to the Mindline Family of Mental Health Helplines.
Today Rachel and I took to the highways once again and travelled to the mysterious and strangely wonderful Hinkley Point C construction site.
We had been invited to take part in their Zero Harm event promoting safety at work and to their credit this includes safe mental health. The approach to Hinkley Point was quite intimidating for my trusty Ford Fiesta, driving along the purpose built ‘new’ road from Cannington alongside all those big construction vehicles. Due to the high level of security access had been pre-arranged and we found ourselves in a portakabin entering our details into iPads for security staff to process.
The day began properly for us when Ella, a senior nurse from the health centre appeared, she was to be our escort for the day. We were taken to the health centre where we met the staff and learnt about the work they do. We met the receptionist, nurses, a hygienist (who’s going on holiday to Norway soon, by the way!!), a GP and the centre’s manager. We then set up shop in the staff canteen, it was a sea of hi-vizness, hard hats and big dusty boots. The canteen was full, I’d say capacity around 600. Right from the start, and thanks to Ella’s knack of drawing people to the table, there was a lot of interest in our display, the mental health quiz was very popular and led to some interesting conversations and some quite sensitive disclosures about peoples personal experiences. One common theme from the men, as it was mostly men, was the strain working away from home puts on them and their loved ones. In the afternoon we were invited to attend a talk from the Construction Director and the Head of Health & Safety who were launching the Zero Harm programme. MindTWS was the only external organisation there.
Both Rachel and I want to extend a huge warm thank you to everyone we met today, especially Ella who was amazing, for not only being our escort but for calmly leaving us in the capable hands of other staff when she had to dash off to attend to a couple of medical emergencies. What a star. Oh and they gave us lunch!