Utah Political Underground Highlights Clyde Companies’ Focus on Mental Health

Geneva Rock Employees

Utah Political Underground spoke with Ally Isom, Vice President & Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Clyde Companies, about protecting employee health in the construction industry. Read the entire article, or check out the excerpt below.

Taking Care of Business by Protecting Employee Health

By Pamela Manson


In May, which was Mental Health Awareness Month, Clyde Companies mailed a newsletter to the homes of its nearly 5,000 employees detailing the medical benefits and community support available to them and their families. 

Jeremy Hafen, president and CEO of the Orem company, made a video message noting the construction industry’s high suicide rate and encouraging employees to take care of their mental well-being. Six of the company’s eight subsidiaries — including WW Clyde, Geneva Rock Products and Sunroc Corporation — are construction product-related.

“Mental health affects us all, whether it’s us individually or those we love,” Hafen said. “Some are reluctant to talk about mental health, concerned they may be viewed or valued differently. We cannot let that happen. We have to talk. I’ve seen mental health impact people close to me. Nobody is immune. I do understand there is no health without mental health.”

He also said the company values its people and cares about their well-being.

“It’s OK not to be OK all the time,” Hafen said. “It’s more than OK to ask for help.”

Ally Isom, Clyde Companies corporate spokesperson, cited some grim facts — suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and was responsible for more than 48,000 deaths in 2021. That same year, 12.3 million adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million made a plan and 1.7 million attempted suicides.

“Those data points are data points we don’t ignore,” Isom said. “We cannot afford to ignore them. At Clyde Companies, we’ve experienced a steady increase in our mental health claims in the last five years.” 

Despite the higher number of claims, not everyone who needs help asks for it. The construction workforce is overwhelmingly male and men are statistically less likely to seek care, Isom said.

On top of the regular benefits, the company gives its workers three free visits to mental health professionals through its employee assistance program and three free telehealth behavioral health visits, as well as an incentive to have their annual preventative exam, she said. 

Isom said Clyde Companies also offers not only premium benefits but a total rewards package that includes retirement, leave time “and all those things that make for a well-rounded, healthy, productive human.” Work life can’t be segregated from home life, she said.

“We know that mental well-being affects physical well-being,” she said. “Your body and mind are absolutely related. If you’re not doing well mentally, it does start to take a long-term toll. People don’t sleep as well. They don’t eat as well. They don’t take care of themselves nor do they take care of their relationships in healthy ways. We know there are these ripple effects that center in mental health and affect every aspect of a person’s well-being.”

In addition to assisting its own employees, Clyde Companies has been working with industry and community partners to find better solutions, especially concerning access and affordability, Isom said.

May was an important time for the company, she added.

“Part of our culture here is going the extra mile,” Isom said. “Sometimes that can feel like a lot of pressure on people but that month we said, ‘Go the extra mile and be a little more attentive to the people around you and notice how are they doing. Check in on them and look out for one another.’ ”