Suicide prevention program for construction industry

A new national suicide prevention program for construction workers will build better connections between construction workers and mental health professionals to offer support for people in these industries who are at risk of suicide, according to Mark Butler, the Federal Minister for Mental Health.

Butler announced a $5.24 million national suicide prevention program called Mates in Construction.

“Construction workers are up to six times more likely to die from suicide than accidents at work so clearly this is an area that needs our attention,” Butler said.

“Mates in Construction is about giving people the tools they need to recognise when a mate is in trouble and needs help.”

The funding has been provided under the Federal Government’s $132 million Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package, and will see the program roll out to South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and to help the existing program expand in Queensland.

Mates in Construction CEO Jorgen Gullestrup said the program had led to remarkable results in Queensland.

“Getting men to seek help on mental health issues is notoriously difficult, but the Mates in Construction program seems to have cracked this chestnut for the building and construction industry,” he said.

“On average, the Mates in Construction program in Queensland intervened in a suicide plan or attempt once or twice per week. We expect to see similarly effective prevention in other parts of the country.

“We have more than 23,000 workers in the program nationally and we connect two to three workers to help each other every day ? I believe this additional funding will help us save lives.”

Source: Newswire, Mates in Construction

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