The first Northern Territory construction site has received MATES in Construction accreditation, to connect workers with mental health support services.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men between 15 and 44 years of age and the NT has the highest suicide rates in the country.
Hutchinson Builders’ Manunda Place project in Darwin’s CBD was the first site to receive the program’s accreditation.
MATES is a workplace program for the construction, mining and energy sectors, that trains and supports workers to look out for the mental health of their friends.
In Queensland, where the program was first developed, it has been associated with an 8 per cent reduction in suicide rates amongst construction workers.
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MATES in Construction Field Officer, Matthew Hull, will presented workers and management on the site with the accreditation certificate.
“It is great to see how the site has embraced the program,” Hull said.
“They have trained staff in General Awareness Training and also a network of onsite Connectors – workers easily recognised by a green hard hat sticker as their on-site connection point.
“Our research has shown that suicide rates amongst NT construction workers are 104% higher than for other employed men in the NT. The same research also showed that suicides amongst NT construction workers is happening at a much younger age than amongst other Territorians.”
The program was launched in the NT in February 2019 with the support of the Territory Government.
As local field officer and case manager, Hull supports sites set up the program, along with supporting individual workers.
“The response to the program in Darwin has been really positive both from sites but also from individual workers who have contacted me to help them find the support they needed,” Hull said.
“It is clear to us that MATES in Construction has filled a real need in the NT community.”
If you or anyone you know needs help:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
MATES in Construction: 1300 642 111