Higgins Concrete cements mental health support into core business

In May 2021, The Business of Trucking2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 3, 2021

Higgins Concrete has partnered with Mentemia to incorporate mental health and wellbeing into its day-to-day operations, publicising it through the livery of two blue Hino mixers.

Mentemia is a mental health and wellbeing programme fronted by rugby legend and mental health ambassador Sir John Kirwan and health psychology specialist and clinical lead Dr Fiona Crichton. The programme creates a platform for individuals and businesses to focus on maintaining and improving mental health through a range of tools and techniques accessed via an app.

“We tragically lost a staff member during the Covid-19 lockdown, and that really underlined the importance of offering support to staff across both their work and home environments,” says central region manager Aaron Currie. “So we introduced the Mentemia programme into the business, giving all staff access to the full range of support it offers.”

According to Aaron, in the two months since its introduction, the programme has made it okay to talk about mental health. He has also noticed a new openness between staff members as Mentemia is integrated into training and day-to-day operations.

“We’ve seen more willingness to talk. It’s slowly starting to push the stigma away. Everyone has exactly the same level of access to the app – it’s for everyone. As a business, we recognise that managers can’t work unless staff do their jobs. We don’t see anyone as more or less important – we’re all after the same result.”

By decking out a new Hino mini-mixer in the Mentemia livery, Higgins has purposefully chosen a truck that will pass through the hands of multiple drivers, changing every four to six months. “The small mixer requires a class-2 licence, providing an entry point for young drivers to progress towards their class-4. This helps to get new staff into our thinking and culture around mental health from the get-go,” says Aaron.

The two blue concrete mixers join an increasingly colourful fleet, including the existing pink Hino mixer that hit the road last year in support of Child Cancer.