Worker suicide prevention group provided with additional funding

The Queensland Government is supporting Mates in Construction (MIC) by providing $ 1 million in additional funding to help the group expand its suicide prevention program to rural and remote areas of the state.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said mental health and suicide are serious issues within the construction industry.

“Unfortunately, the suicide rate of young workers in the industry is two to three times higher than the general community and the average age of suicide among construction workers in Queensland is just 36 years,” Ms. Grace said.

“Our continued support of Mates in Construction will support their significant efforts to reduce a tragically high suicide rate in the construction industry.

“We are committing $ 1 million over 12 months to help Mates to expand its suicide prevention services into rural and remote areas of Queensland, while we explore options to provide long-term funding certainty.

“Mates in Construction, now in its 10th year, is a great organisation making a real difference for Queensland families and communities.

“We are committed to suicide prevention. The impact of suicide is devastating affecting families, work colleagues, communities, service providers and first responders.”

Ms. Grace said Mates in Construction targets mental health and suicide prevention at a local level, primarily on construction sites, with support from all stakeholders.

“Mates in Construction uses on-site training to encourage workers to get help and early intervention through volunteer connectors who are trained in suicide intervention,” Ms. Grace said.

“This is supported with case management, a national 24-hour telephone helpline, and online counselling.

“In partnership with Mates in Construction, we’re looking to educate supervisors and managers to help create mentally healthy workplaces.

“Suicide is not just a health issue – it impacts across the community so it’s important we are engaged with suicide prevention across the community.

“This additional funding will help Mates to continue to spread the message to rural and remote areas and also to put more emphasis on engaging with young workers at risk.”

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