Graham Construction takes proactive approach to mental health


As part of its ongoing proactive measures to promote the wellbeing of its labour force, Graham Construction has formed a partnership with headversity, an online mental health and resilience building consulting service.

headversity offers employees “a proactive approach” to employee mental health which puts tools and content in the hands of employees allowing them to build foundational resilience skills that can be utilized in any situations, says Graham’s corporate director of health, safety and environment, Mike Donnelly.

It was introduced to employees and their families this past December after Graham conducted its own research into the service, which was founded by psychiatrist and technologist Dr. Ryan Todd.

Users access the service by downloading and then opening the headversity application, and then entering their email address. When prompted, they enter the appropriate invite code. There is one code for the employee and a separate code for their family members.

Next step in the process is completing the setup of their individual account by providing their name and creating a password. After that, users will receive a welcome email containing an instructional video on how to navigate the system, he says.

From there they can take a series of ‘personalized microlessons’ based on their responses and scores to a series of resiliency factor exercises. Users can increase their scores through increased practices, says Donnelly.

There are daily practice tools, micro (mini) lessons, video/audio lessons and long/short form articles that are recommended to each user based on their unique profile.

Powered by artificial intelligence, a key feature of the service is its ability to detect users who are in crisis situations. In those cases, they are referred to Graham’s employee and family assistance program, which is a confidential service provided by a third party consultant.

Another feature is that it allows Graham to use portions or sections for team training, such as weekly safety sessions, he says.

 “Graham recognizes the importance of mental health and, through this partnership, is providing preventative training to help its employees (and their family members) to respond to adversity in a constructive way.”

It was already offering a range of physical, mental, financial, social, and COVID-related services through its Health and Wellness Hub program.

“But we became increasingly concerned about the social isolation and other problems stemming from COVID,” said Donnelly, in explaining the need to enhance its Hub assistance to employees through its collaboration with headversity.

After conducting its initial research, Graham introduced the service as a control experiment at an isolated industrial project in northern British Columbia and there was “positive feedback” from employees at that project, he says.

It was then rolled out to all its employees in December because the Christmas season can be a period of depression and suicidal tendencies, he explains.

“All information is kept confidential. Graham only sees an aggregate of data for reporting and never an individual’s information, says occupational health manager Connie Riar. But that data has shown the service is popular and is being used by employees, she says.



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