Local 18 Prioritizes Employee Mental Health with Wysa

Construction union embraces AI and offers unlimited human support to broaden its mental health risk mitigation strategy

Local 18, a prominent labor union representing construction workers and operating engineers in Ohio, is taking a groundbreaking step toward addressing the mental well-being of its workforce. In partnership with Wysa, a leading mental health support platform, Local 18 is launching a wellbeing program that combines the power of AI support with unlimited human coaching to prioritize employee mental health.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by employees in the construction industry, Local 18 is initiating this innovative pilot program for its own staff and their families, setting a powerful example for the field.

Local 18 trial mental health app Wysa

Wysa offers AI-powered support that is proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by 30-40%, as well as unlimited human coaching. This combination ensures that employees can access both personalized, on-demand assistance and professional guidance for their mental well-being.

Michael Bertolone, Business Manager at Local 18, said,

“We are well aware of the stressors and risks associated with the construction industry, including exposure to traumatic incidents, long working hours, and the risk of isolation. By partnering with Wysa, Local 18 aims to provide our employees with accessible and effective mental health support to address these challenges head-on. It is our intention to run this pilot to see the benefits of Wysa for ourselves, before potentially offering the support to our members.”

Ramakant Vempati, Founder and President for Wysa, added,

“The significance of early intervention in preventing mental health issues from escalating cannot be understated. The collaboration with Local 18 is an important step in making mental health support more accessible and relevant in the construction industry, where the risks of mental health are known to be higher than average.”

Local 18’s pilot program reflects the organization’s commitment to the well-being of its employees and demonstrates its dedication to addressing the mental health challenges that construction industry professionals frequently encounter. This initiative showcases Local 18’s commitment to creating a culture of support and well-being within its own organization, serving as a role model for other employers in the construction sector.

Mental Health in Construction – The Facts

  • >3x the national average rate of suicide
  • 70% suffer symptoms of depression
  • 97% feel stressed
  • 87% have symptoms of anxiety
  • Almost a third of construction workers have ‘severe’ levels of anxiety. 
  • 2 construction workers take their own life every working day; and over a quarter have considered taking their own lives. 
  • 90 per cent of the construction workers who have considered suicide, or have known someone who committed suicide, did not ask for support.

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