- 31 January 2023
- Posted by: Canberra Innovation Network
- Categories: Feature, General News, GRIFFIN Accelerator, Innovation Connect Grant
In the past decade there has been a significant rise in awareness about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention, according to the World Health Organisation. Foremind’s Cofounders Joel Anderson, Brad Martin and Elizabeth Kirk noticed the construction industry was lacking when it came to proper support for workers in this area after using an Employee Assistance Platform that fell short.
According to Startup Daily, around 200 Australian construction workers are lost annually to suicide and there has been a 50% rise of mental health compensation claims in the past six years. Joel Anderson and the team behind Foremind are working toward solving this sensitive issue by providing genuine and accessible support for mental health. Joel told Startup Daily their mission is to ensure businesses can provide quality mental health care and welfare to their workers.
“We’re a generation of people who are hesitant to make phone calls… So, if someone is struggling with their mental state on top of it, the hardest thing to do is pick up the phone and talk to some stranger about it.”
Foremind’s website says it provides simple and approachable access to mental health support that intends to increase productivity, wellbeing, and workplace culture. People using the platform are able to self-evaluate their stress levels through a helpful questionnaire that provides steps for support.
Joel told Startup Daily that there are 66,000 small construction businesses in Australia, in which employee assistance programs are often non-existent, Foremind’s response to this is making support accessible anywhere, anytime on any device.
The impact of Foremind is not only on workers mental health but on the companies as improving the mindset of workers can lead to a better financial ROI with higher employee retention and satisfaction rates with less mental health or sick days being taken.
Skalata Investment Manager Tom Smalley told Startup Daily that Foremind’s mission to transform mental health in an industry where the “she’ll be right” mindset often preveals, was inspiring. He said, “The ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is costing our community hundreds of lives, and to a much lesser extent, billions of dollars in lost productivity annually.”