Gardner Builders Introduces Wellness Pods to Prioritize Mental Health on Construction Sites

The construction industry takes a proactive approach to address mental health concerns among workers.

Gardner Builders, a construction company based in the Twin Cities, is taking a significant step towards prioritizing the mental health of its workers. Recognizing the alarming rates of suicide within the construction industry, Gardner Builders plans to install portable wellness pods on construction sites to provide a private and clean space for workers to take care of their mental well-being. The initiative aims to shift the prevailing “suck it up” culture and create a supportive environment for construction workers. This groundbreaking approach could set a new standard for mental health support in the industry.

Addressing a Silent Crisis:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified construction workers as one of the highest-risk groups for suicide, second only to those in the mining and oil and gas extraction fields. The demanding nature of the job, coupled with the lack of accessible resources, has contributed to the mental health crisis within the industry. Gardner Builders’ decision to tackle this issue head-on is a significant step towards addressing the silent crisis affecting construction workers.

The Wellness Pod Initiative:

Gardner Builders plans to introduce 40 portable wellness pods on construction sites in 2024, with the potential for installation at all 260 of its sites across Minnesota and Wisconsin. These 6-by-10-foot sound-proof pods, costing between $4,000 and $20,000 depending on indoor or outdoor use, will offer workers a private space to attend to various needs, including taking medication, pumping breast milk, consulting with a doctor, participating in virtual meetings, or simply taking a break from stressful situations.

Concrete Steps Towards Mental Health Support:

Gardner Builders has already installed two wellness pods at indoor job sites in downtown Minneapolis, with plans to convert an ice house into a third pod for outdoor use. The company’s commitment to mental health support is commendable, as it recognizes the importance of providing a clean and private space for workers to address their mental well-being. The of wellness pods on construction sites could potentially save lives and create a positive shift in the industry’s approach to mental health.

Changing the Culture:

The prevailing “suck it up” culture within the construction industry often discourages workers from seeking support or taking breaks when needed. The of wellness pods challenges this mindset by offering a tangible solution that prioritizes workers’ mental health. Richard Kolodziejski, spokesperson for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, applauds Gardner Builders’ efforts, emphasizing the importance of an employer taking proactive steps to accommodate and invest in the well-being of its workers.

A Safe Haven in a Challenging Environment:

Traditional office trailers on construction sites often do not provide the necessary privacy or cleanliness for workers to address their mental health needs. The wellness pods offer a safe haven, providing a quiet space for workers to regroup and regain focus. By acknowledging that one in four employees may have a mental health issue, Gardner Builders is setting an example for the industry and demonstrating the value of providing a supportive environment for workers.

A National Movement:

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, president of United Suicide Survivors International, commends Gardner Builders for its innovative approach to mental health support. While mental health issues are prevalent in the construction industry, the of mobile break rooms on job sites is a unique resource. Dr. Spencer-Thomas believes that this initiative could serve as a national movement, inspiring other construction companies to prioritize the mental well-being of their workers.


Gardner Builders’ of wellness pods on construction sites marks a significant step towards addressing the mental health crisis within the industry. By providing private and clean spaces for workers to address their mental well-being, the company is challenging the prevailing culture and setting a new standard for mental health support in construction. This proactive approach not only prioritizes the well-being of workers but also has the potential to save lives. As the industry takes notice of Gardner Builders’ trailblazing initiative, it is hoped that mental health support will become an integral part of every construction site in the future.

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