Support for suicide prevention in construction industry

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Suicide prevention organisation MATES in Construction has been given further support through a new industry partnership program with the Queensland Government.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the partnership would help ensure MATES in Construction (MIC) are available to people in need.

“According to MATES in Construction, in Queensland an average of 43 workers from the construction industry die by suicide each year,” Minister de Brenni said.

“One suicide is one too many, and we want to ensure there is help available for people when they are going through a tough time.”

MATES in Construction CEO Jorgen Gullestrup said the Queensland Government partnership would help them continue to promote and facilitate their program.

“The Queensland Government is a major client of the Queensland construction industry, by becoming an industry partner with MATES in Construction the Government sets a great example for others to follow,” Mr Gullestrup said.

“Our organisation is about mates looking out for mates, and within the construction industry it’s a way we can look out for each other and help when somebody’s struggling,” he said.

“The Queensland construction industry used to have the highest suicide rates in the Australia.”

“Through our network of 4,500 volunteers on sites across the state we know that we’re having an impact as the rates have come down.” he said.

“However, there are still too many suicides each year, which means there are more people who need help,” Mr Gullestrup said.

Minister de Brenni said mental health is an extremely important topic within the community.

“It’s vital that people know there are places to turn to when they feel they need to reach out,” Minister de Brenni said.

“Whether it’s a relationship problem, financial issues or other work challenges, MATES in Construction is available to help.

“MATES in Construction has officers at job sites every day, right across the state, and offers the service at no cost.

“There are more than 55,000 construction industry workers in the program at the moment.”

If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact the Mates in Construction 24/7 hotline on 1300 642 111, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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