Simons Group leading the way in construction for employee well-being
In spite of the reputation of the construction sector for work-related accidents, research suggests that construction workers could be 10 times more likely to die by suicide than by on-site accidents in the UK. It is also likely that the construction industry has a higher suicide rate compared to other professions, with one construction worker committing suicide every two days.
The construction industry is tough and competitive with long working hours and high demands. Not only this, but the workers can be held financially responsible if the working deadlines aren’t met on time, which can affect their income. Most workers have to travel away from home with loneliness contributing to poor mental health conditions. Other factors such as weather conditions and self-employment could impact the amount of work that needs to be done and affect workers' income. Further research shows that 23% of construction workers are thinking about leaving the industry within the next 12 months. The top reasons were high levels of stress and inability to achieve a suitable work/life balance.
Simons Group, a company that has been growing and ‘changing the landscapes’ for the last 7 decades, has taken it upon itself to support its employees wellbeing. Simons group has a mixture of office-based and site team employees and wants to ensure that all employees have the same level of access to support if they need it.
Simons Group offer ‘award-winning services in design, development and construction.’ A key point to the company is the belief that having the right people doing the right job is what drives the company to do well. Therefore, it is vital that employees receive any support they may need - physical or emotional. As part of this, Simons was one of the first companies to sign up to the ‘Mates in Mind’ charity to support mental wellbeing in the construction industry. They also now have 12 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA UK trained) and will be training a further 12 site based first aiders in the near future.
Not only this, but Simons is now the first company in the construction sector to partner with Thrive. Thrive: Feel Stress Free is an app designed by co-founders Dr Andres Fonseca, consultant psychiatrist, and Dr Adam Huxley, consultant psychologist, which uses clinically proven, evidenced-based techniques for the prevention, screening and self-management of common mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and mild depression. Research has shown that for those who screened positive for mild-moderate anxiety and/or depression, 96% of them ‘recover’ within 8 weeks of using Thrive: Feel Stress Free. It has also been shown to significantly accelerate depression recovery time.
The app also provides direct access to all the other forms of support Simons Group offers and is available when and where employees may need it.
“After meeting the Thrive team at the Employee Benefits Roadshow last October we have been able to meet with their team, see an in-depth demonstration and implement the app within a tight turnaround time. The app has been launched in line with our Wellbeing Strategy, with the Thrive team attending one of our Wellbeing Day in our Head Office to support launching the app” - Simons Group
The prevention: The app encourages help-seeking behaviour and detects issues before they become too severe. Thrive is not for the 1 in 4 struggling with their mental wellbeing, it is for the 4 in 4 of us that need to care for our mental wellbeing and cope with life's daily stresses. The exercises within the app, mood tracking and features all are based on evidence and help prevent mental health conditions.
The screening: Screening is done by using PHQ9/GAD7 quiz to analyse a user's mental wellbeing, from this daily screen the app can determine if a user is likely to be experiencing anxiety and or depression. Users will be then be 'prescribed' a personalised plan within the app and, if necessary, directed to the right support within the company to improve their mental wellbeing.
The self-management: The app consists of many forms of clinically proven self-management, from mindfulness/breathing techniques to distraction therapy. The four relaxation techniques are calm breathing, meditation, self-suggestion, and deep muscle relaxation. This means that there is always something for everyone. Each of the techniques are evidence-based, clinically proven and used in real life therapy to help manage common mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and mild depression.
Together, Simons Group and Thrive have the ability to support those working in construction and begin to change the shocking statistics within mental health and this industry. For more information on Simons group visit https://www.simonsgroup.com/company/culture or to find out how Thrive can help you support your staff, visit www.thrive.uk.com.