Mates to Drive Suicide Prevention on Construction Sites
Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler announced a $5.24 million national suicide prevention program, Mates in Construction, at a construction industry conference in South Australia.
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3 August 2012
Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler has announced $5.24 million for a new suicide prevention initiative to be rolled out on construction sites across Australia.
Minister Butler announced the funding for suicide prevention program Mates in Construction at a construction industry conference in South Australia.
Mr Butler said the program would build better connections between construction workers, mental health professionals and other organisations to offer support for people in these industries who are at risk of suicide.
“Construction workers are up to six times more likely to die from suicide than accidents at work so clearly this is an area that needs our attention.”
“Mates in Construction is about giving people the tools they need to recognise when a mate is in trouble and needs help,” Mr Butler said.
The $5.24 million in funding has been provided under the Labor Government’s $132 million Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package and will see the program roll out in to South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales and expand in Queensland.
Mates in Construction CEO Jorgen Gullestrup said the program had led to remarkable results in Queensland and had high expectations for the program in other states.
“Getting men to seek help on mental health issues is notoriously difficult, but the Mates in Construction program seems to have cracked this chestnut for the building and construction industry.”
“On average the Mates in Construction program in Queensland intervened in a suicide plan or attempt once or twice per week, we expect to see similarly effective prevention in other parts of the country.
“We have more than 23,000 workers in the program nationally and we connect two to three workers to help each other every day - I believe this additional funding will help us save lives,” Mr Gullestrup said.
For more information visit the Mates in Construction website
For more information, please contact the Minister’s office on 02 6277 7280
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