An Innovative solution to improving mental health in construction – Immersion and virtual reality
Suicide is a major public health problem with far-reaching social, emotional, and economic consequences. A study conducted by Mates in Mind and the Institute for Employment Studies found that the rate of suicide in construction is more than three times the national average for men, with more than two construction workers taking their own life every working day.…and we know that each suicide profoundly affects many more people.
Earlier this month was World Suicide Prevention day. “Creating Hope Through Action” is the triennial theme from 2021-2023. This theme serves as a powerful call to action and reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and that through our actions, we can encourage hope and strengthen prevention.
So how can we all help improve mental health in the construction sector? I recently had conversations with Rescape Heath and learnt about innovative virtual reality - DR.VR® Frontline, to provide a solution to help alleviate NHS staff and anxiety…… But this made me think, how effective this would be in the construction sector too! An aid to help us take steps towards providing a safe and healthy workplace environment.
DR.VR® FRONTLINE has been designed as a standalone solution to help staff either at work or at home. Well-being departments are using the system to help relieve stress, anxiety, burn out and results have shown usage can help regulate sleep. Engagement is high with staff as is the interesting nature of the solution which sparks interest and demonstrates staff wellbeing. VR results can be quickly experienced with an uplift in mood after a 7 minute experience.
Mates in Mind has found that a third of construction workers live with sever levels of anxiety. With these high levels of stress and anxiety in the construction sector, I can’t help think that this innovative solution would be of such benefit to use onsite, in makeshift portacabins or in fact anywhere to help relaxation and wellbeing, ultimately contributing to more effective outcomes.
Rescape are currently moving into corporate wellbeing and are happy to undertake demonstrations. For more information contact Simon Enoch - Simon@rescape.health
“Given our current understanding of conditions and challenges for frontline staff, along with the evidence for using virtual reality, an intervention aimed at limiting burnout and supporting mental health and wellbeing of staff is well justified.” Dr. Smallman, Centre for Trials Research, Preliminary ICU Report1