The BERT fund recognised many years ago that the mental health of worker should be a number one priority when considering wellbeing in the working environment. Following a research project into the growing number of suicides in our industry, MATES in Construction was created.
Historically BERT was about the member, in the main, the males in the industry. One of the things that MATES in construction has allowed us as an organisation to do, is move into the family environment and influence their behaviour and communication at home. Building workers work hard, they work long hours and suffer stress and as a result unfortunately we see the self-harm and suicides and this impacts on their loved ones. Our Industry is about people and the culture of our industry is one of helping your mates. This is why the MATES formula is so effective in educating and raising awareness of suicide, it uses the natural ability we all have to be a mate to a fellow worker and arms them with powerful knowledge to connect to help. If we as an organisation can contribute towards building the necessary skills within the industry and at home to help individuals identify the signs, we’re helping saves lives and that’s the most important part.
The BERT fund continues to fund MATES and has chosen to be an industry partner to continue the support of the excellent work they are achieving.
Bill Wallace – General Manager, BERT