UEA has joined the Mates in Construction (MIC) program. MIC aims to reduce the extremely high suicide rates we currently experience in the industry. On average we lose a construction worker every second day to suicide! A construction worker is six times more likely to die from suicide than from a construction accident and a young worker is ten times more likely. MIC provides workers with the skills to identify signs of depression and keep a person safe while connecting them to the appropriate help. All of UEA’s employees completed the “General Awareness Training” and a further ten workers went on to do “Connector” training.
The sessions in the General Awareness Training (GAT) introduce workers to the problems of suicide and mental health in the industry and describe how some behaviors might indicate that a workmate may be at risk of suicide and how their peers may be able to help by following a few easy steps. The training makes it clear to the industry that for some workers this culture is life threatening. Workers need space, opportunity and permission to discuss personal issues while at work.
In the Connector training, a “connector” is “a mate who can keep you safe while connecting you to help.” The Connector training has SafeTALK embedded into it – an internationally recognised suicide prevention program. Connectors are easily identifiable on-site by a green hardhat sticker.
The Australian building and construction industry is a world leader in workplace suicide prevention and workplace mental health. The industry is the first in the world to develop and implement an industry-wide approach to suicide prevention. Workplace mental health is now being recognised as an integral part of any workplace’s health and safety program, regardless of industry. Good workplace mental health practices are a critical part of doing business
It’s time for us to make a difference in our industry and in the wider community and put these new acquired skills to saving lives!