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Mental Health Awareness - Bob McCoy

With Mental Health Awareness Week on 18-24 September, Master Plumbers spoke with Bob McCoy, Masterlink on how he supports his mental health.

When the phone rings first thing on a Monday morning in the McCoy household, I know that an apprentice has an issue. What will it be this time? In over nine years with Masterlink, I have received all kinds of phone calls from apprentices who are unable to go to work, due to an injury playing sport, a broken bone, because they’re sick, or some other unforeseen reason.

From that phone call, my anxiety levels rise, as it’s time to connect and support the apprentice and move my planned activities for the day aside. However, I know that my key role as a Masterlink Regional Manager is to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of my apprentices, and I want to be there for them when they need me.

In a past life, having been a policeman for over 20 years, I like other cops I have worked with, have seen things most people shouldn’t see, and I’m aware the unexpected does happen. This has included many instances of mental health trauma that ended sadly. 

In those days, we dealt with a stressful shift by going to the pub. That is no longer seen as a suitable remedy, and rightfully so. Therefore, I need to make sure that I have other processes in place to help me through any trying times that occur.

There have been many of those over the years, including the suicides of two of my apprentices in late 2021. I can tell you now that the Christmas that followed was just a blur.

I have embraced the Masterlink Wellbeing on Tap process. I eat well, sleep well, take time out for myself, and connect with family and friends – which is easy to do in sunny Hawke’s Bay. Being active is a work in progress. Note to self: get the bike out of the garage this weekend… after all, it is an e-bike so there really is no excuse.

When I meet with my apprentices, I encourage them to talk about how they are feeling or, if they don’t want to talk to me, to reach out to others, including our Wellbeing Guy, Kereama Carmody.

I also listen to my own preachings. I have a great support network of family and friends, and the Master Plumbers and Masterlink teams are incredibly supportive. I know that I can talk to anyone at any time, and I have. 

When I first started with Masterlink, health and safety as wellbeing was not talked about. Thankfully that has now changed, and we are all the better for that. 

Masterlink Wellbeing on Tap

Find out more about Wellbeing on Tap with Masterlink: www.masterlink.co.nz/wellbeing

Mental Health Awareness Week

Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week: https://mhaw.nz/


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