On September 11th Brix Projects joined many other construction sites around the country to Fly the Flag for MATES in Construction.
Fly the Flag 2020 is a day to celebrate the work of Connectors, ASISTS and volunteers in the Industry who work towards mental health and suicide prevention every day. By flying the MATES flag on sites around the country, we are working together to raise awareness of the important work our industry does towards improving mental health and preventing suicide.
This year Fly the Flag was held on World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK Day. Mental Health is an extremely important topic in construction, which is sadly renowned for high rates of suicide. NSW government data shows that construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than a workplace accident. Apprentices in construction aged between 15 and 24 are twice as likely to take their life than other young people their age.
According to a recent report by Deakin University the following was found:
- From the period 2001 to 2010 1,947 male suicides were identified in the construction industry in Australia, and during that time the suicide rate among labourers were markedly higher than the general male population.
- Those employed in lower skilled jobs in the construction industry are at greater risk of suicide than those in higher skilled jobs in the construction industry.
- The health of workers in the construction industry may be impacted by poor psychosocial work conditions including dangerous work conditions, physically demanding and long hours, project deadline pressures and lack of job security.
Recommendations for prevention from the report:
- Lower skilled workers should be prioritised in prevention and intervention initiatives.
- While the MATES in Construction program has received positive feedback within the construction industry, long-term efforts are needed to assess the effectiveness of this program in reducing suicidality.
- Intervention efforts need to address possible work-related risk factors for suicide.
Brix Projects are super proud of Tony Rush who is our CONNECTOR and recently took part in the Mates in Construction Gatekeeper training programme. Tony has dedicated his time to helping others in their fight against suicide and mental health.
The Gatekeeper program aims to train 10,000 people in suicide prevention and Tony already believes he has made a difference since receiving the training
“Recently I had a conversation with a fellow construction worker that was facing some mental health and financial problems. I listened and we spoke about ways we could address these issues and put a plan in place looking into avenues where we could get help. 2 months down the line and this particular person is in such a better place and getting the help they required. It showed to me and to him that together we can navigate through these kinds of problems”
Having personal experiences of losing people to mental health issues our team are passionate about raising awareness and breaking down the stigma attached to this topic.
At BriX Projects our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees, which is why we have such a strong process in place 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.