Mental health awareness is growing everyday with the likes of World Suicide Prevention Day (10th of September), Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (also September) and many more popping up on our social networks and in the news. But why are we, a labour hire agency, writing about suicide awareness and mental health?
Do you know that tradies in Australia are six times more likely to kill themselves than die in an accident on site?
The latest report on suicide in the construction industry (MATES in Construction) revealed that on average 169 construction workers killed themselves each year (between 2001 and 2013). This is a staggering death every two days! The average suicide rate per 100k people for construction workers was 24.6 whereas that of non-construction workers was 13.4. This isn’t unique to Australia either, a report from the CDCP (Centers for Disease and Control) in 2016 showed that construction workers in the US were 4 times more likely to commit suicide.
But why does this happen?
Why someone chooses to commit suicide rather than seeking help is always the question people ask, “what could I have done to help them?” will usually be first thing that a loved one will ask themselves following a tragedy.
Some of the reasons why construction workers mental health can suffer in comparison to other industries:
- Not raising mental health issues due to a working “tough guy” culture. Men are programmed not to discuss “feelings” and this stigma prevents them from seeking help.
- Jobs are often high pressure.
- Insecurity within construction work can cause a number of problems such as financial security.
- Separation from families for seasonal work or “working away” or “fly in fly out” or “offshore” can cause emotional problems for workers.
What are we doing to stop this?
MATES in Construction suicide prevention program is a charity that was set up in 2008 to tackle this specific problem. They organise events for awareness of the problem and help companies to introduce different systems and tactics to help identify individuals that may be suffering from mental health issues and getting them the help that they need.
At BriX Projects our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees, which is why we have such a strong Health and Safety Policy and are supportive of their needs. But we need you to talk to us and let us know when you’re having problems so we can help.