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MEA are proud to partner with Mates in Construction to provide all MEA members with important information about mental health in the workplace, including resources to help you incorporate mental health support in your own business.

Established in 2008 to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers, MATES is an integrated industry intervention program that:

  • Raises awareness of suicide as a preventable problem
  • Builds stronger and more resilient workers
  • Connects workers to the best available help and support
  • Partners with researchers to inform industry around best mental health practice

MATES provides suicide prevention through community development programs on sites, and by supporting workers in need through case management and a 24/7 help line. The charity was established in response to a major report on suicide (the ‘AISRAP Report’) within the Queensland Commercial Building and Construction Industry. This report found that suicide rates in the industry were higher than the Australian average for men, and that youth suicide within the industry could be as much as 2.38 times more common than among other young Australian men.

The MATES program is based on the simple idea that suicide is everyone’s business. If the building and construction industry in Australia is to improve the mental health and well-being of workers and reduce suicide, then it cannot be left to mental health professionals – everyone in the industry must play their part.

MATES is independent of employers and unions and never works directly for an employer. Programs are delivered across the industry regardless of employer or union affiliation.