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Tune into the latest MYH Podcast this Mental Health Awareness week

This month, bricklayer Rob Muldoon shares his experience with mental health, and how his MYH Podcast is helping the industry keep a clear mind.

Home » Tradesman Insights » Tune into the latest MYH Podcast this Mental Health Awareness week

I was really honoured when Stephanie messaged me asking to write a blog about The Mind Your Head Podcast (MYH) and everything we value, for Mental Health Awareness week (9-15th May).

It’s great to see that people are really paying attention to how important it is to look after, not only your own mental health, but others too. Stephanie told me that at Tradesman Saver mental health is so important to them. This is amazing to hear and they have a free counselling helpline you can call.

Writing doesn’t come easy to me. I struggle with it. It was one of the main reasons I became a bricklayer.

So where to start? I guess an introduction is in order.

I’m Rob Muldoon. I’m a bricklayer and I live in a small town called Macclesfield. I have been a bricklayer for 21 years now and I have fallen in and out of love with the job. I have recently left my job as a project manager for a big brickwork company based in the North West of England, to concentrate my efforts on raising awareness about mental health in the construction industry.

I’m married and have three boys, two dogs and a fish. Oh, and a half-built house. I never seem to find the time to build my own house, as I’m always busy building everyone else’s.

I started The MYH Podcast in November 2020, and it has been an amazing 18 months so far. My outlook on work life and home life totally changed for me four years ago, when my wife Lou left me (she came back).

I guess I should fill you in with the backstory about me and how I got to this point. I have been doing my current role for about six years, and it can be very stressful at times with sorting labour, ordering materials, dealing with clients, and the day-to-day running of big construction sites.

I thought I was handling it all, but it turns out I really wasn’t. Looking back now, I can see things I should have picked up on that are real indicators that something wasn’t right. Some indicators were I never really wanted to go home. I would work miles away from home and not stay over, not eating, not sleeping, and not looking after myself. I was in pain all the time because I never did anything about getting it sorted (bad back much better now) as well as the pressure that comes with work. For a long time, I ignored what I was feeling and instead of talking about it chose to bottle it up and bury myself in work. This was ultimately my downfall.

I came up with the idea of The MYH Podcast to create a platform for people that work within all sectors of the construction industry. I wanted them to have the opportunity to listen and gain insight and information from real people who share their stories about how the construction industry has impacted their mental well-being. As an industry we are very proud of our record on health and safety. I know it can be a pain in the backside, but think of how many lives have been saved.

 

Something we aren’t so proud of is our record when it comes to mental health. It’s a sad fact that every working day two construction workers take their own lives because of the stigma that there is in our industry surrounding mental health. It’s not poor mental health that kills people in our industry, it’s the STIGMA!.

My aim is that the MYH Podcast gives the people that listen to it an understanding that there is help out there, where to get help and how the help can improve their life. So we can smash that stigma together.

As I am writing this blog I am in the middle of editing episode 17, due to come out at the beginning of May. You can find it on our YouTube channel and all major podcast platforms.

I really can’t believe we are up to EP17. It’s amazing to think how far the small idea I had two years ago has turned in to the mental health machine it is today. As well as the amazing place we have been to and the people we have seen along the way. This is just the beginning.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without the help and support from my amazing wife and the not so silent producer Tom. If Lou hadn’t made that massive decision a few years ago to leave, then it wouldn’t have given me the wake up call I needed to take my mental health more seriously. And without Tom helping make my idea into reality, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog and I would still be miserable, trapped in my own negative thoughts.

Sometimes, we can all get trapped in the vicious circle of negative thoughts. We don’t always know how to get out of this mindset or who we can talk to about getting out of it. Did you know, being part of Tradesman Saver you have access to free counselling? They offer it to all their customers.

Here are the details:

For free confidential advice and support, call the Staff Counselling Helpline on
0333 000 2082

For help with legal and tax issues, call the Legal and Tax Helpline on
0344 571 7978

Your Tradesman Saver policy also gives you access to free Business Support at www.araglegal.co.uk.

Here are a few top tips I always tell people when they ask what they can do if they think a friend or work colleague is struggling with their Mental Health.

  • Start a conversation with them and ask them how they are doing. They will probably fob you off the first time with “yeah I’m ok” but remember to ask twice. You might just get a different answer.
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Remember, you don’t have to know the answers or have to cure their problems. You are there to give them a safe space to talk.
  • If you feel like they want to tell you something but they are holding back, I usually start talking about a problem I have at the moment and how it’s making me feel. Showing vulnerability always helps people start to open up.
  • And finally, remember to be kind because you never know what people are going through and your chat could be the difference in life or death.

Its not all bad in our industry. There have been some huge positive steps forward with the way people see mental health, and it continues to get better. I think it still has a long way to go, but small wins lead to great victories.

Nowadays my normal working week is made up of doing small domestic jobs and doing work with several construction charities. I am an ambassador for The LightHouse Club and Construction Sport. They are two amazing charities that are 100% focused on helping the construction industry with its mental health.

I record one podcast a month that gets released around the 4th of every month. And you can follow what we get up to on a daily basis on our Instagram page @MYHpodcast

I hope the podcast gives people hope and lets them know they are not alone in this, and no matter how dark it feels it ALWAYS gets better.

At the moment, I am in a very good place with my mental health and well-being and I have now made it my mission to help people in the construction industry find and get the help they need.

Hopefully people will enjoy this little blog and please share it with someone you think might need a little bit of support.

Thanks again to Stephanie for giving me an opportunity to let you all know about The MYH Podcast. If you would like to know more give us a follow on social media and lets have a chat.

Please reach out for help and support if you feel you need it.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Speak soon,
Rob

 

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