Advice

Worried about mental health? You’re not alone

The nature of the greenkeeping means many groundsmen face mental health challenges, but CALM is here to support.

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CALM poster - Losing Ground? CALM's here for you, no matter what

A recent study by BIGGA found that an alarming 80% of greenkeepers were worried about the mental health of someone they worked with.

The pandemic has really brought mental health to the fore, but as restrictions are lifted it doesn’t mean we can forget about it.

This is why Bayer has collaborated with suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). We want everyone in the industry to know that it’s okay to voice their feelings and this service provides a confidential support line.

 

What is CALM?

CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably – takes a stand against suicide. That means standing against feeling rubbish, standing up to stereotypes, and standing together to show life is always worth living.

 

125 lives are lost every week to suicide. And 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM exists to change this.

 

How has CALM’s services helped the turf industry?

CALM has a wealth of tools, advice and campaigns and encourages anyone in the industry who is struggling to reach out and talk to someone.

One such initiative is the ‘Heads Up’ campaign which Leicester City FC supported at matches throughout the 2020 season.

Head of sports turf and grounds, John Ledwidge, explains how this has filtered throughout the club to help build a lasting mental health legacy.

“Mental health support is really important to me as a manager. I take it really seriously because people are our most valuable asset and if they’re not in a good place or don’t feel supported then we don’t get the best out of them.

“There’s a lot of formal support offered by the club but often for me I think it’s the informal that makes the most difference, taking the time to talk to people. Not necessarily formalised but the things you do as a decent human,” says John.

 

Listening is important

He adds that he believes as the impacts of poor mental health are better understood, people have become more comfortable talking about it.

“Taking that time to listen and understand what people are going through is incredibly important,” he says.

“Being the person who lends an ear and takes the time to listen is the best thing you can do.

“It costs nothing and the benefit you’ll get is staff who want to work harder for you and go the extra mile. You’ll get the best from them because they feel they’re getting the most from you.

“I’m no guru or expert but I’ve dealt with a lot of diverse people. What I’ve found is a common denominator that listening really helps. By listening you could be helping far more than you’ll ever know. Also signposting to charities such as CALM can be really valuable,” concludes John.

 

Talk to CALM if you are struggling

If you feel like you need support, or know someone else who might, there are some small practical things you can do today, tomorrow or two weeks on Thursday to help get through it.

  • LOOK OUT for yourself and others. Make mental health an everyday conversation and normalise saying you’re feeling crap or having a really tough day/week/year. Check in on the people around you. Listen to what they’re saying, let them know you’re there for them, be available and trust your instincts.
  • STEP IN and start the conversation (we know it’s scary). If you need support or think someone is going through a tough time, don’t stand back. Don’t accept ‘I’m fine’ if you know they’re not.
  • STAND UP if someone isn’t getting the importance of mental health or worse, deliberately blocking the conversation. Tell them it isn’t OK.
  • CONTACT CALM. We’re here for you, no matter what. If you’re struggling, don’t face it alone.

 

How do I contact CALM?

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is here for you. The helpline and webchat is open 5pm to midnight 365 days a year and can listen and help with all of life’s problems.

 

CALM services