Young Kiwi men in the construction sector are taking their lives at an alarming rate. A 2019 BRANZ report on Suicide in the NZ Construction Industry Workforce found that of 685 people who died by suicide in New Zealand in the year to June 2019, 6.9% or 47 of those worked in the construction sector. It is the sector with the highest proportion of suicides across all industries in NZ. Newshub also recently reported that 161 construction workers (all but one men) died from suicide in the three years from 2017 to 2020. That’s an average of 53 deaths a year. It’s a serious problem that MATES in Construction NZ are determined to do something about it.
MATES in construction want to significantly improve mental wellness and reduce suicide in the construction industry. The MATES programme is a mental health and suicide prevention program available FREE to everyone on a worksite. Its focus is on building workplace capacity to identify and respond to signs that a co-worker may be at risk of suicide. MATES staff have been trained in suicide intervention and come from backgrounds within the building and construction industry.
There is also a free 24/7 Helpline on 0800 111 315 for anyone feeling anxious, down, a bit overwhelmed or just needing someone to talk to.
You can find out more at: www.mates.net.nz