The programme, which includes an app, has been launched to provide mental health support to workers within the construction industry. 

Ownminder, co-founded by Dr Vanessa Moulton and construction consultant Tom Storey, provides construction workers with “mind fitness” training. This includes tools and strategies to enable them to take a “positive, proactive and preventative approach” to their psychological health, says Moulton.

The app also provides on-demand training modules tailored to the construction industry, that can be incorporated into everyday life to strengthen mind fitness as well as questionnaires to monitor how it is being built and maintained.

After spending 10 years in marketing, Moulton returned to university for a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology where she researched veterans of the Afghan conflict and the effects of their PTSD.

After then working at Headley Court (MoD Rehab Centre) and Help for Heroes, Moulton realised the construction industry would benefit from the very approach she was trying to teach – that psychological health should be given as much consideration as physical health.

Specialising heavily in the military, Moulton saw the crossovers between that and the construction industry, which are both male dominated and lacked the right resources to tackle the rising mental health rates.

Storey’s collaboration with Moulton as a construction consultant allowed them “to develop mind fitness training and the app so that it was fit for purpose” and to make sure it was relevant to the industry. The two worked together to see how the app could be developed and “how to make it accessible to the people who need it most,” said Moulton.

Commenting on the hopes she has for Ownminder, Moulton wants to create an attitudinal shift where we stop “mental health getting to the point where it is tough. It is applicable to everyone, just as brushing our teeth each day is.”

The app is also designed to explain exactly how the mind works and why people respond in the ways they do. Importantly to Moulton, it will provide the evidence users need, to have a better understanding of their mental health. Alongside the tools and strategies available, the app will act as a reminder for people’s daily mental upkeep.

Video content within the app can be translated into different languages, currently Bulgarian and Romanian, so that it can be accessible to everyone within the industry if English isn’t their native language.

Morrisroe, one of Ownminder’s founding partners, said: “We all care for our workforces and the opportunity to get involved with Ownminder to do something more for them is invaluable. I’m pleased to be part of this journey that is striving for better mental health across the sector.”

The app has also had the input of other construction firms such as Lucas, Blu-3 and The Erith Group.

David Darsey, Erith Group managing director, said: “Allowing employees to be able to own their mind and be in control of their psychological health and fitness is incredibly important. As employers, we have a responsibility and a duty of care to ensure our staff across all levels are not just physically safe, but mentally safe too.”