MATES in Construction is a charity established in 2008 to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers. We are unique in that we foster ownership and control of the program with the Australian building and construction industry.
The MATES in Construction program is based on the simple idea that “suicide is everyone’s business” and that if the building and construction industry in Australia is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of workers and to reduce suicide then it cannot be left to the mental health professionals, but rather everyone in the industry must play their part.
We are independent of employers and unions and never work directly for a particular employer, but for the construction industry generally. Programs are delivered across the industry regardless of employer and / or union affiliation.
You can find us in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. Our national body MATES in Construction Australia commenced in October 2013.
We were established in response to a major report on suicide [the AISRAP Report] within the Queensland Commercial Building and Construction Industry. This report found that suicide rates in the industry were higher than the Australian average for men, and that youth suicide within the industry could be as much as 2.38 times common than amongst other young Australian men.
We provide suicide prevention through community development programs on sites and support workers in need through case management and a 24/7 help line. Together with the Oz-Help Foundation, we also provide Life Skills Toolbox training to apprentices and young workers.