01 March 2021

Be a man of more words - Chief Exec's viewpoint

VIEWPOINT| PPC102 MARCH 2021

Giving and receiving greetings is vital for us as human beings. We’re social creatures, and that’s what the ‘being’ bit in ‘human beings’ is all about.

We need interaction with other human beings to survive and to thrive. We are not called ‘human doings’ for a reason, and that reason is that there is more to life than just working.

By the time you read this, we’ll be well into 2021 and so wishing you a Happy New Year may seem a little belated.

Nevertheless, we’ve already said greetings are essential, so the BPCA team wishes you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021!

During 2020, many of us suffered stress, worry, anxiety (or whatever we want to call it) because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We were faced with something that we had no previous experience of, and it was something that affected every part of our being – at work, home and play.

Both surveys we carried out in 2020 affirmed that, among pest controllers, the pandemic affected the mental health of 44% of respondents in April and 45% in October.

I’m sure that figure has not likely changed much as we continue to live in uncertain times amidst further lockdown.

A sad statistic is that men commit 75% of all UK suicides.

As a sector with a high proportion of male workers and a high proportion of lone-workers, we need to be very aware of mental health issues. We must speak safely and without embarrassment about the things that play on the mind in the daytime or keep us awake at night.

Sadly, it is often the ‘real men who don’t talk about emotions’ that end up with the problems.

During 2021, BPCA will look at how best we can support our staff and our members most effectively with their mental health.

Encountering stress, and coping with it, is part of being human: we continually assess what is going on around us and determine what impact these things may have on us – often without even realising we are doing it. It is how we deal with these things once we do become more aware of them that affects our mental health.

With everything we’ve been through in 2020, and continue to find ourselves in at the start of 2021, I hope that one resolution we can all keep this year is to be more aware of our mental condition.

Often it is as simple as not just asking, “what am I doing?” but also asking “how am I doing?” and may we all be a little better at human ‘being’ for ourselves and those around us.

We look forward to speaking with you at PestExtra in March. Screens might separate us, but let’s take every opportunity we can to connect this year. 

 

Ian Andrew
BPCA Chief Executive
ian@bpca.org.uk

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