Building awareness of construction industry suicide

Mates in Construction WA members Louise Nolan, Anthony Tartaglia and Liam Cobbage at a Gwelup work site.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie         www.communitypix.com.au   d446078
Mates in Construction WA members Louise Nolan, Anthony Tartaglia and Liam Cobbage at a Gwelup work site. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d446078

THE construction industry has one of the highest rates of suicide and depression, according to Mates in Construction (MIC) WA chief executive Godfrey Baronie.

Non-profit organisation MIC aims to reduce suicide in the construction and fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) industry.

The organisation provides support and training for workers to reduce the stigma of mental illness, improve awareness of mental health issues in the community and increase the priority of mental health.

The organisation, which has representatives in several sites around the country, including Gwelup, also covers the full spectrum of primary, secondary and tertiary intervention of suicide.

Mr Baronie said the organisation provided awareness, suicide prevention and early intervention mental health services.

“A construction worker aged under 24 is 10 times more likely to suicide than to die as a consequence of a workplace incident,” Mr Baronie said.

“Among young workers who suicided, more than half communicated a suicide intention within 12 months and less than 7 per cent actually sought professional help.

“With the high suicide rate in the construction industry, it is our shared responsibility as part of that industry to lower these statistics to at least the national average.”