One of the UK's leading engineering businesses Spencer Group has become the first employer in the industry to adopt Moodbeam as part of its commitment to supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Based in C4DI, Moodbeam is a health tech startup that began developing the world's first wearable that logs moods back in 2016.
The simple-yet-revolutionary two-button device is the brainchild of former journalist Christina Colmer McHugh and Gadget Shop founder and Red5 co-founder Jonathan Elvidge.
Your Moodbeam is linked to a mobile app and online platform and collects data as users touch a blue button for "anxious" or a yellow button for "calm". The device also records your activity and sleep patterns so you can see how these two factors may affect your wellbeing.
Spencer Group - who has designed and built several well-known landmarks, including York Millennium Footbridge and Glasgow Science Bridge, as well as three control centres for Network Rail - is now offering a free Moodbeam to all staff members.
"Everybody has some anxiety in their life, that's perfectly normal. It's when that anxiety is overwhelming that it becomes a problem," explains Yvonne Moir, Spencer Group's Human Resources Director.
"The beauty of Moodbeam is that it helps people pinpoint periods of anxiety and times when they're feeling calm or happy. It helps them put measures in place to manage and control their anxiety and, where appropriate, with the support of manager and colleagues.”
The engineering company started trialling Moodbeam with four people in different roles across the company, including Managing Director Gary Thornton.
The move to Moodbeam is an extension of Spencer Group's focus on supporting the mental health of its staff.
The company has signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, led by the Mind and Rethink Mental Illness charities, and established a network of mental health first aiders and an internal online portal where employees are encouraged to access support and information.
Moodbeam provides employees with their own confidential data and helps them understand issues affecting their wellbeing. If they wish, they can raise issues that may be causing them stress or anxiety with the mental health first aiders or their line managers.
Christina came up with the idea for Moodbeam after her daughter became anxious at school.
"The simplicity of Moodbeam One's technology is its strength, we believe. Over the past three years, it has grown from an idea born out of the need for a mother who was worried about her young daughter to keep a connection with her when away from her," Christina tells us.
"Now, it's seen as the missing link in being able to evidence feelings in real-time for people of all ages. Seeing how daily activities impact on them as individuals acts as a mechanism for reflection, with the ability to prompt conversations when help is needed, whether that's personally or professionally."
When the Moodbeam team first spoke with Spencer Group, it was clear they understood the urgency and need to address better mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
In recent years, more than 1,400 construction workers in the UK have taken their own lives. In fact, the industry has the highest suicide rates in any profession, so support for mental health can't come quick enough.
"I think it's great that the company is offering Moodbeam to staff. It makes you realise you're not on your own and that people are interested in your wellbeing and the company is ready to provide the support you need if you're struggling," enthuses Sarah Jarvill, Spencer Group's Training Administrator who is one of the first staff members to try out the device.
"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."
Find out more on the Moodbeam website.