DiscoverConstructing Mindsets
Constructing Mindsets

Constructing Mindsets

Author: Constructing Mindsets

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Welcome to the Constructing Mindsets Podcast discussing the building blocks of our mental health.
This podcast series focuses on Mental Health in the Construction Industry, breaking the stigma that surrounds this topic whilst looking into the best ways to provide support.
Each month a new topic will be discussed with the help of special guests from throughout the industry.

We hope you enjoy listening and look forward to hearing your questions, comments and feedback.

Contact us at
18 Episodes
On this episode we welcome Action for Happiness Board Member, Vanessa King (MSc), author of “10 Keys to Happier Living” to explore how we can all embrace happier living. We dive into some fascinating studies which highlight the importance of happiness in our personal and professional lives and talk about some real life examples of the application of the “GREAT DREAM” principle to living happier lives. Vanessa’s wealth of experience & depth of research shines through in an enlightening and enjoyable conversation about how we can change the mental dialogue from “constant critic” to “wise coach” and get one step closer to the one thing we want for others but rarely prioritise for ourselves… happiness.
In this episode of the podcast we reflect upon the year that was 2020 and what it taught us about ourselves and our resilience. We also look forward to 2021 and discuss what we are expecting to see in the world of Mental Health. Disclaimer: This podcast was recorded in the run up to Christmas, long before the Tier 4 restrictions were announced. As such we have uploaded it as a record of how we felt at the time, and share it with our existing audience on the basis we will come out of this current peak again with optimism for the future as talked about in this episode. We have taken the decision not to publicise elsewhere on that basis
In this episode Tom Edwards shares his story of childhood anxiety, a topic that has very little exposure. Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives. Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. Tom recounts his journey through school, university and his early career; how it felt to suffer with anxiety, the impact of low self esteem and how he now values his self worth. Tom is open, honest and inspiring, encouraging us all to think about how we value ourselves and challenge our internal voice.
On average it takes 9 years to be successfully diagnosed with Bi-polar and 3 million people in the UK live with it. Yet, it is something that is barely spoken about. Jamie Forsyth is here to change that. In this episode, Jamie shares his extraordinary story of living with bi-polar and the way it can completely takeover your life without warning. We talk about the transition from working as a Prison Officer to being a prisoner, the difficulty getting a diagnosis, and the amazing work Jamie is doing now to raise awareness about bi-polar and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. A fascinating and educational listen that we can all learn from.
Joe Miller discusses his experience of experiencing ill health as a result of his experiences in construction and the career change that he decided to make as a result. He reflects on the macho culture that he found himself in and the benefits of that formative experience. We discuss how labels such as ‘too soft for site’ show there’s room for positive change so that sites can continue to welcome a diversity of talent from all personality types.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, we are remembering the tragic impact suicide has on many lives. The World Health Organisation cites close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and for every 1 suicide outcome, 25 people make an attempt. The Covid-19 pandemic has only caused these numbers to increase. Aside from the devastating impacts on the many families and communities affected, suicide is a serious public health problem. However with timely, evidence-based, often low-cost interventions and active engagement, suicides are preventable. This episode is one of the most difficult topics we have discussed and focuses on those who have lost love ones through suicide. We welcome Renee Smith, who shares her heart-rending story about how her life has been affected by suicide and its long-lasting impacts, talking personally about the most difficult parts of her journey and giving us an insight into how it feels to lose loved ones in this tragic way. We hope to shed some light on the best ways to support those left behind after suicide as well as provide education and awareness on this subject, which is so often ignored or stigmatised. If you need help, there are plenty of people who want to help you. Our LinkedIn page has some resources that are available to everyone. Alternatively, you can email us at
In this episode, Hannah Schaapkens gives us an inside view of what it is like living with depression. We explore the different symptoms and trigger points of depression and discuss how they can be identified in others and ourselves. Hannah shares from her own experience the dos and don’ts when supporting someone with depression. We dive deeply into the stigma around anti-depressants, why the impression is still so negative despite the overwhelming benefits they bring. It is likely we will all be affected by depression one day, whether we are affected ourselves or are supporting someone going through it. We hope this episode will help our listeners be better equipped to deal with this illness that takes too many lives each year.
“In this episode we welcome Martin who shares his insight on coming out of a pandemic and the inevitable changes that are occurring. Martin, a Mental Health first aider and founder of Building Mental Health, shares interesting views having gone through many booms and busts in his career. We discuss the difficulties people are experiencing going back to site, as well as the re-integration into the changed style of office working. We look into the anxiety that surrounds being taken off the furlough scheme, and the challenges that come with redundancies. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way our industry sees mental health. We are talking about it more than ever before. This has been a challenging time, but it has also been a huge step forward for mental health.
Becoming a parent is a truly unique time in your life; a moment of joy and vulnerability. It exposes you to pressures and emotions that you have never faced before, and it takes time to adjust. In our latest podcast episode we welcome Frederick Levy who shares his story of having his first child and the presssure him put on himself to be the perfect father. We discuss delineating the high standards and expectations that we set ourselves at work versus those of being a parent as well as understanding that there is not a "one size fits all" parenting model. Many thanks to Frederick for sharing such a candid and enlightening story that will resonate with so many of our listeners. He highlights the reality of parenting pressures that many people are juggling with alongside their careers.
This episode we welcome Paul Sheffield, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Paul has a vast wealth of experience in the Construction Industry both in the U.K. and abroad, having worked for Kier Group for 31 years (being CEO from 2010-2014) before moving to Laing O’Rourke to head its U.K. and Middle East and Construction business. In addition to Paul’s current role as President of the ICE, he is non-executive Director of Southern Water Services, is on the supervisory board of BAM and an industrial advisor to the board of Manchester Airport Group. We discuss Paul’s own experience of mental health in the construction industry over the years; how it has changed and what more we can do, as well as ensuring people have access to mental health training and what makes training effective. We confront boom and bust over the years and the impact that economic downturns and uncertainty can have on our mental health particularly in the situation we currently find ourselves in. Paul provides an honest, thoughtful and inspiring perspective on balancing home and work life, working abroad and long commutes, the resulting impact of a recession on businesses and their people and the power of team work and a support network to show kindness and help motivate. We are sure that our listeners will find this episode very interesting. If you are interested in joining the conversation, please follow the Institution of Civil Engineers on social media.
In this episode we welcome special guest Harriet Clark who shares her story about living with rheumatoid arthritis, an invisible illness that manifests itself in ways which can make everyday activities difficult and very painful. Harriet touches upon some very pertinent subjects; how living with an invisible illness not only affects both her physical health but also her mental health, and how this is also invisible to others, what it is like to have an invisible illness in the workplace and how she has overcome the challenges this has raised, and being honest with others about how you are feeling and trusting your own judgement. An inspiring story and one which we hope educates our listeners and raises awareness of this under discussed topic.
We are living in unprecedented and uncertain times that have been a shock to all of us. We have had to make dramatic and immediate adjustments to both our working and home lives in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. We have an open and honest discussion about how we are currently feeling in the midst of this pandemic, the impact on our mental health, how we are adjusting our mindsets, and coping mechanisms to keep up positivity and morale. Most importantly, we recognise that this pandemic is impacting upon our mental health very differently and we are all on different journeys to help ease our anxiety, stress and reactivity. We hope that this episode provides reassurance to our listeners that the way you are feeling is completely normal, will only be temporary, and there are things you can do to help ease the negative thoughts and feelings.
This episode we welcome Jon Casey on to the podcast who discusses his journey to accepting that we all have an upper limit on our individual working capacity; how we can be clearer on this, as we would any other piece of essential construction kit. We hope you enjoy and please remember to rate, review and subscribe!
Grief is an emotion that all of us will feel more than once during our lifetime, and it often manifests itself in very different ways. In this episode Hannah Schaapkens shares her very personal story about grief; what it felt like, how she coped, the support network she used, and a reflection on how to support others that may be going through the same.
In this month's episode we discuss all things 2019. We talk openly about how the year went for us; what we learned, how we grew and why we are doing things differently. We focus on key issues and opportunities around mental health that have been prominent in the news, and the changing tone and awareness of how these are raised and dealt with. Finally, we discuss what we are looking forward to in 2020 and how the conversation around mental health will continue to grow and impact positively on our lives. Please remember to rate, review and subscribe! We welcome your feedback and would love to get your ideas so please email us at Links: Construction news mental health survey 2019
In this episode we welcome Carlo, who candidly shares his experience of panic attacks and how their crippling effects have impacted upon his life. We talk about the circumstances leading up to Carlo’s first panic attack and how their physical and mental impact are so intertwined. We also discuss how Carlo has managed to prevent and deal with the effects of his panic attacks through meditation and baking – powerful tools for others to embrace.
In this Episode, Lucy Howard shares her story with us - what it feels like to experience a breakdown and how she came through the other side stronger than ever. We discuss how you might identify your trigger points for stress or anxiety and the power of the support network around you.
This week we discuss the creation of this podcast series and our own personal links to Mental Health. Discussing the industry and where we see some of the struggles and what we plan to tackle over the series.
Comments (1)

Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett

A fantastic podcast that discusses important aspects of mental health. The honesty and candor of the speakers is heartwarming and testament to the fact that 'you are not alone' in your struggles and help is out there. Keep talking! #mentalhealth

Feb 24th
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