Approximately 190 construction workers commit suicide each year in Australia – that’s one person ever second day – a scary statistic! Construction workers are 6 times more likely to die by suicide than an onsite incident.
Safety is a high priority in the construction industry, however physical safety is not the only threat in the workplace.
MATES in Construction are a not for profit organisation that was started in 2008 with the aim to reduce suicide rates within the industry. Less than 7% of construction workers who died by suicide sought professional help, which is why MATES was formed. The program is based on the simple idea that “suicide is everyone’s business” and that prevention cannot be left to the mental health professionals, but rather everyone in the industry must play their part and look out for their mates.
MATES work with the industry to create awareness and provide an open forum for men and women to speak up when they are going through hard times or have suicidal thoughts. Suicide prevention is provided through community development programs on sites, and workers in need are supported through case management and a 24/7 help line.
ADCO Constructions, who are active supporters of MATES in Construction have recently hosted general awareness training on every site in Western Australia and New South Wales. With backing from contractors like ADCO, MATES have been able to train and reach out to 175,765 people throughout Australia.
Photo: MATES General Awareness training at Hitachi Remanufacturing Facility site in WA