The pressure is real. Rising construction costs, a national labour shortage and the collapse of major building companies are some of the reasons for the mounting pressure the industry has been dealing with. We can safely say that pressure is there in every workplace; but the pressing issue here is bigger than what the meets the eye. According to research and statistics from MATES in Construction, the suicide rate among tradies is two times higher than any other occupation or field of work in Australia.
Now the risk of workplace accident or the possibilities of mishaps occurring on site are known, but what’s not known is that workers in the construction workforce are six times more likely to die from suicide.
Why is the suicide rate so high?
Let’s face the harsh reality here; the construction workforce is predominantly a male dominant industry wherein we are expected to be tough, manly and no one talks about or addresses mental health issues. On the other hand, the safety risks and the rising insecurity regarding unemployment are some of the reasons that have forced some tradies to take this drastic step in the past.
To tackle this toxic culture and nurture a healthy supportive environment, MATES in Construction; a suicide prevention and mental health organization is being super vocal about shifting these numbers by offering different courses to help tradies’ address the situation and take preventive measures on site.
The group conducted a training session in South Australia with over 40 tradies and sub-contractors who are currently working with Berri construction group Michael Kregar Building. The focus was to ensure tradies understand sensitive situations and occasions in which they need to check on their mates and the necessary tools to adopt for the same.
Having an open conversation revolving around mental health is immeasurably important and breaking down the stigma was an integral part of the training.
It’s never easy to come forward and talk about the things one’s not comfortable about, it takes time and trust to get there. The training helped the attendees understand how their role as peers and coworkers can create a change.
It ain’t weak to speak. To learn more, click on the link below