Andrew Picken's story:Image shows Andrew smiling at the camera.png

(Principal consultant, workforce health and wellbeing)

I have a genuine passion to support better mental health and feel we could all learn some basic skills to deal with those who may be at risk or vulnerable to access support before crisis point. 

In an industry where the risk of suicide is high (out of 507 construction suicides in 2023, 503 were male), working with cross-sector partners such as the West Yorkshire ICB is crucial to positioning support and raising awareness about the risk of suicide. 

I was also unfortunate enough to become a suicide survivor myself, after my partner took her own life in 2010. So I am acutely aware of the impact a suicide can have on family and friends networks and am driven to prevent this happening to other people. 

The sense of isolation one can feel means many don't know where support may lie. Employers are one example of partners that can make support accessible and remove the stigma around mental health. 

Pledge: I pledge to increase awareness at my place of work and keep banging the drum on an open culture and supportive environment to reduce the stigma around mental health.