SVSR Actively Committed to Workplace Mental Health

SVSR - Mental health month

October was Mental Health Month, and given the challenges many people have faced this year in particular, it’s a timely reminder of the importance of being mental health aware.

For employers, it means knowing the signs and being responsive, adaptive and resilient enough to actively help any team members facing personal or professional difficulties.

As a family business, SVSR cares for our employee’s wellbeing, and we value their dedication to our customers and to the delivery of first-class sewer vent design, fabrication and installation. Mental health is a leadership priority at SVSR, so we make a point to look after not just our customers, but every worker. Here’s how we’ve done that in recent months.

SVSR - Mental health display on the laptop screen

Meeting Man Anchor

Mental Health Month is an annual event coinciding with World Mental Health Day on October 10. It aims to raise awareness of mental health, provide an opportunity to understand the importance of good mental health in our everyday lives and to encourage help-seeking behaviour.

To mark this year’s event, our team took part in a webinar with Steve Gamble, Founder of the grassroots mental health and wellbeing movement, Man Anchor. Founded in 2017 to support men’s mental health, Man Anchor now delivers a range of awareness programs designed to create positive change and a sustainable model for the wellbeing of both men and women.

Steve provided an overview of mental health disorders, discussed the way in which they manifest in everyday situations and, very importantly, suggested a variety of approaches to kickstart conversations about mental health with friends, family or colleagues.

His vital information included understanding common triggers that may agitate mental health issues and practical tools to keep your own mental health in a good state. He pointed out something very significant – that we all need to strive towards good mental health, just as we work to maintain our physical health.


Putting words into action

Like many in our economy, SVSR experienced a downturn in business this year, resulting in redundancies – and the loss of some dedicated, hardworking and longstanding employees.

One of those was our dogman and labourer, Dave Benness, who had been with SVSR since 2002. To compound a difficult situation, Dave was subsequently evicted.

SVSR Managing Director Kylie Ridding made the decisions to do everything in her power to help. She went above and beyond the actions of most other employers by helping David source new accommodation, updating his resume and applying for hundreds of jobs on his behalf. Kylie’s commitment made a difference, and David is now happy and secure with a new home and a full-time job.


SVSR - Two warehouse workers patting each other on back

Understanding the impact on mental health

The loss of a job can be incredibly difficult in isolation. When compounded with personal challenges, it can easily impact anyone’s mental health.

When Dave lost his home and job, he was also mourning the loss of two brothers in the past two years.

Obviously it (redundancy) is very stressful, and even when you know it might be on the cards, it’s still a shock, and a big disappointment.” Dave has faced other hard times, including an electrocution while younger, which left him with severe burns and a long recovery

“I’ve had a few ups and downs and I’m more resilient now,” he says, “but you still can feel very vulnerable when this kind of thing happens.”

Having a supportive team at work is essential. “You could tell Kylie felt bad and she did help a lot. I’ve got to know the whole family over the years, first her father, and they have been terrific to a lot of people.”


A commitment to mental health education

Chris Antoun, SVSR’s Compliance Manager and CAD Specialist, hasn’t experienced mental health issues himself, but it’s a subject close to his heart.

Before SVSR I worked with tensile membranes. It’s a niche market and my job involved a lot of travel, both in Australia and internationally. While it could be an escape, I did notice that I wasn’t looking after myself as much as I should, and that isolation and time away from family for long periods started to make an impact.”

When he noticed the negative effect it was having on some of his workmates, he began researching mental health issues – and ways to make a difference.

I’ve now researched quite a bit and done several programs for mental health awareness, such as Gotcha4Life. I realised that if I could potentially help even my immediate workmates, then I really wanted to be in a position to do that.”

Now with a young daughter, Chris has less time to commit to his passion, but it’s something that he will come back to. With an awareness of mental health signs and triggers, he’s in a good position to help friends, family and colleagues if ever needed.

SVSR - Mini-Crane-Hire-Inspection-Site

Supporting our team, to support you

At SVSR, we believe that great work takes great people. We’re fully committed to supporting each and every team member, because we know that when we support our people, they do an incredible job supporting our customers.

Our team works hard to deliver excellence in sewer vent shaft solutions including custom design, fabrication and installation for regional councils across the state.

If you have a vent shaft or cowl in need of assessment, removal or replacement, please contact us.


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29 Shepherd St, Liverpool
NSW 2170

02 8798 8788