Much of the focus in our trades industries surround occupational health and safety, and the standards we put in place to keep our workers protected. And yet, statistics prove that tradies are six to seven times more likely to take their own lives, rather than be hurt whilst on the job. This information comes out of several studies identifying the unquestionable linkages between suicide/self-harm and occupation, specifically ‘blue-collar’ work most heavily populated by men.
Amidst a growing boom in the mining and trades industries, this seemingly silent killer is running rampant. So, what is being done about it?
MATES Watching Our Backs
The MATES in Construction charity was born back in 2008 out of one mighty ambition in mind: to lower the number of suicides amongst the Australian building and construction community as much as possible. It was after a sobering AISRAP (Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention) report conducted within the Queensland Commercial Building and Construction Industry, which found suicide rates in the industry were higher than the national average for men. Since they are completely independent, and do not share ownership with unions or companies, they are free to offer their services equally throughout QLD, NSW, SA, and WA, at no cost at all.
How MATES in Construction are Helping the Industry
Through engaging community development programs on sites, further research, training, a 24/7 help line, and initiatives with organisations such as the OZ-Help Foundation, in which they provide Life Skills Toolbox training to young workers and apprentices, Mates in Construction have created great strides in terms of suicide prevention within the building and construction industry.
How to Get Involved
Skills Certified are proud to be a supporting partner of MATES in Construction, and encourage everyone to get involved in helping the charity move forward in whatever way they can. If you would like to get involved, you can do so by joining 7,571 constructions workers already volunteering their free time to act as an ASIST worker, who are essentially trained to employ simple skills to ensure struggling people on a worksite can come forward, share how they’re feeling, ultimately feel safe. Similarly, through the MATES in Construction Speakers Bureau, you can tell your own personal story, and share how you got or are still getting through your struggles. You can also organise a fundraising program with our help, or we are always happy to work in partnership with other companies in the building and construction industry to promote viable suicide prevention measures.