Spencer Group has become the first engineering employer to adopt an innovative device to support the mental health wellbeing of its staff
Health tech start-up Moodbeam has developed the world’s first wearable device which allows users to log their mood and monitor their emotional wellbeing.
Linked to a mobile app and online platform, the device collects data as users touch a blue button for “anxious” or yellow for “calm”. The gadget also records its wearer’s activity and sleep patterns to see how these affect their wellbeing.
Moodbeam has begun by trialling it with four people in different roles across the company, including managing director Gary Thornton.
The move is an extension of Spencer Group’s strong focus on supporting the mental health of its staff. Spencer Group has signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, led by the Mind and Rethink Mental Illness charities, committing the company to support mental health wellbeing in the workplace and combat mental health stigma.
As part of a Time to Change Action Plan, Spencer Group has established a network of mental health first aiders and champions and launched a mental health wellbeing area within its internal online portal, with employees encouraged to use the support and information available.
Using the Moodbeam device will provide employees with their own confidential data to help them understand issues affecting their wellbeing. If they wish, they can raise any issues that are causing them stress or anxiety with the company’s mental health champions and first-aiders or their line manager.
Spencer Group human resources director, Yvonne Moir, said: “Everybody has some anxiety in their life – that’s perfectly normal. It’s when that anxiety becomes overwhelming that it becomes a problem.
“The beauty of Moodbeam is that it helps people to pinpoint periods of anxiety and times when they are feeling calm or happy.
“It will help them to put measures in place to manage and control their anxiety, where appropriate with the support of managers or colleagues.
“Mental health wellbeing is a real challenge within the engineering sector. It can be a very stressful environment and we know that, unfortunately, suicide rates are high in the construction industry.
“We have signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge and have a wide range of initiatives to support the mental health wellbeing of our employees, so it’s very high on our agenda.
“We believe having access to the Moodbeam device will support our people and help them to manage their anxieties. Hopefully it will also encourage other companies to promote mental health wellbeing.”
Training administrator Sarah Jarvill, who is one of the first staff members to try out the device, added: “I do feel anxious sometimes, so I thought it would be really good to be able to track and analyse why I feel as I do at certain times and identify triggers for those feelings.
“I think it’s really good that the company is offering this to staff. It makes you realise you’re not on your own, that people are interested in your wellbeing and the company is ready to provide the support you need if you’re struggling.”