MATES in Construction endorses PC's Mental Health report

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 06 November, 2019

MATES in Construction endorses PC's Mental Health report

MATES in Construction, the charity established to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers, has welcomed the findings of the Productivity Commission’s recent Mental Health Report.

The non-profit has endorsed several recommendations of the report, which was released last week.

These include the recommendations to explicitly include mental health within workplace health and safety frameworks, and to establish a code of practice tailored for the building and construction industry.

Every year around 190 construction workers commit suicide and an estimated 406 more are permanently injured through suicide attempts, MATES said.

The charity is currently implementing its five-pillared plan to improve mental health and suicide prevention in the industry.

“As part of the implantation of the construction blueprint we are increasing awareness and support for construction businesses of all sizes to create mentally healthier workplaces,” MATES in Construction Qld CEO Jorgen Gullestrup said.

“Providing the construction industry with clear regulations for treating mental health in the industry as an identifiable hazard such as other risks would go a long way to improve understanding and reducing the stigma attached to mental health within the construction industry.”

MATES has also welcomed recommendations to improve workers compensation schemes and reduce premiums for smaller construction companies, and to promote early intervention and prevention programs for at-risk workers.

“Initiatives that promote early intervention and prevention for workers and businesses impacted by workplace mental health challenges are a step in the right direction,” Gullestrup said.

“Demonstrating recovery within a work context, and removing barriers for business wanting to support workers, will only provide positive impacts for improving the construction industry’s response to mental health and suicide prevention.”

If you are experiencing personal difficulties, contact the MATES hotline on 1300 642 111, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

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