In this article, a Bachy Soletanche employee, who would prefer to remain anonymous, shares their experience of their struggles with ADHD, the effect that this condition has had on their mental health and work life, as well as the support they received from the company to help manage it.

By opening up the conversation around mental health, we can start to break down the stigma attached to it, which we know prevents many people from seeking the support they need.

I’ve struggled with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) for as long as I can remember and it’s something that has affected every area of my life. There are many misconceptions about the condition, which have made it difficult for me to be open about it. One of the main misconceptions is that ADHD affects only children, however, there is a small percentage that continue to suffer its effects throughout adulthood.

Many people don’t realise that there are two different types of ADHD; there is the more widely recognised, ‘Hyperactivity and impulsiveness’ type and then there is the lesser known, ‘Inattentiveness’ type that I suffer with. The latter can manifest itself in less obvious ways, for instance an inability to follow instructions, appearing forgetful or having difficulty organising tasks.

We will all face challenges at some point in our lives, so we need to be empathetic to our colleagues. Sharing our problems can help us better understand each other, which helps us to work together more effectively.

At previous companies, I never felt comfortable enough to open up about my struggles with ADHD as there wasn’t proper mental health support. To add to this, there was often a macho culture that viewed mental health as a weakness, and you would basically just be told to ‘man up’ and get on with it.

Fortunately, when I came to Bachy Soletanche I had a completely different experience; I instantly felt that the culture was much more open and supportive. It was clear that they took mental health seriously with a range of services and information on offer. To be honest, this is the first company in which I have felt able to take time off work to address my problems without feeling like a burden. In contrast, I’ve felt like the Management team have listened and helped me find the support I need.

In the past, I struggled getting appropriate treatment for my ADHD, which left me feeling like I was in constant search for an answer. Yet with Bachy Soletanche’s support, I was guided through a GP referral and now, with the right medication, I feel a lot more stable and able to focus on my work.

At first, I felt apprehensive about sharing my challenges with my manager, but I’m so glad that I did because they were so supportive. They made a real effort to understand my ADHD and put the measures in place to help me cope with it at work. Situations at work that used to overwhelm me in the past are now avoided, as my team understand what triggers me and what support I need to work most effectively.

The communication and bond within my team is much stronger now, and after getting the right support, in turn I now feel better equipped to support my team. Talking about your mental health struggles really is one of the best things you can do and it’s a domino effect… the more I have opened up to others, the more that I have seen others become more open too.

We will all face challenges at some point in our lives, so we need to be empathetic to our colleagues. Sharing our problems can help us better understand each other, which helps us to work together more effectively.

When our day feels like it’s going a million miles per hour, it’s easy to forget to connect with our colleagues and just rush on with our busy schedules. Although this might seem productive, we’re missing opportunities to check in with each other and offer our support.

Here are a few ways you can help:
  • Take the time to ask someone how they really are or ask someone how their weekend was and really listen to their response
  • Speak to someone you don’t know
  • Organise a fun social activity outside of working hours
  • Speak to your Manager or HR about Mental Health Awareness training, so you can better identify signs of mental health issues in colleagues and be there to support those having a hard time
  • If you are struggling, try to open up to someone you know and seek support
  • Encourage others to share any issues they may have and encourage them to seek support if they need it.

If we can implement even just one of these steps into our working day then we can each become part of the change towards a more supportive, open, and happier working environment.

Bachy Soletanche offers free, confidential mental health support to all its employees through its Employee Assistance Programme, where employees can speak with a qualified counsellor or advisor about any personal issues they are facing. Bachy Soletanche also has a team of trained Mental Health First Aiders across the company, who are there to guide and support any employee who are having a hard time.

If you are struggling with your mental health, please reach out to someone you know and talk to your GP. There are also many excellent charities that offer free and confidential mental health support, such as Mates in Mind, Lighthouse Club (A construction industry charity), Mind, and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

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Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Bachy Soletanche
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