Mental health – a very real issue on the construction industry
190 Australians working in the construction industry take their own lives every year. Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work. Young construction workers are well over two times more likely to take their own lives than other young Australian men.
This very real concern extends to the pipeline construction industry. Workers are required to work in remote areas away from family and friends, which can have an impact on their mental health.
In light of the industry statistics, greater community awareness and concern for the wellbeing of our people, Nacap developed a mental health program for all Nacap employees.
The process for implementation of this important initiative was as follows:
- Interaction with the Australian Mines & Metals Association and Beyond Blue by Nacap Head of Human Resources and Safety Manager to gain a thorough understanding of mental health issues within the industry
- Development and dissemination of a Mental Health Survey to all employees, to gain an understanding of how mental health is perceived and managed at Nacap
- Analysis of survey results and additional consultation with Beyond Blue to ensure results were interpreted correctly
- Development of strategy paper with recommendations, presented (again with the assistance of Beyond Blue) to the Nacap Executive Management Team
- Approval and implementation of the Nacap Mental Health Program in Feb 2017 involving Mates in Construction Training & Education and Mental Health communications issued every 2 months to all employees.
Mates in Construction (MIC)
The Mates in Construction program is an integrated program of training and support – one without the other is insufficient. To only do training without pathways to support is potentially dangerous and to only do support without raising awareness is to simply be another Employee Assistance program. The MIC program uses training as a tool to raise awareness that there is a problem with suicide and its contributing risk factors in our industry and we can all be part of the solution. The support is then provided through clear pathways to help, case management processes that ensure that workers in need of support are connected to appropriate help, and on site visits by field officers to support the site and its workers in an ongoing presence until the site closes.
MIC Training Programs are aimed at:
- Raising awareness about suicide in the workplace
- Making it easy to access help
- Ensuring that the help offered is practical, professional and appropriate
Nacap has delivered the general awareness training to over 200 workers and approximately 30 workers have been trained as connectors. ASSIST training will be conducted prior to end of 2017. Nacap is proud to be supporting the ongoing health and wellness of their people and the construction industry as a whole.