The New Zealand construction industry is facing a similar mental health crisis as Australia, looking to the Mates in Construction programme as inspiration for its own plan to tackle the issue.
With Mates in Construction proving successful here in Australia, with a marked decrease in suicides in the industry, SiteSafe – a New Zealand based organisation is looking to mirror a similar approach.
The organisation has received funding to study why the suicide rate is so high in the industry and why mental health issues are so common among construction workers.
A recent study found that 6.9 per cent of overall suicides were in the construction industry.
SiteSafe is looking into 300 suicides of construction workers to learn more.
The Mates in Construction programme has reached more than 120,000 workers in Tasmania and suicide rates have fallen as a result.
In a male-dominated industry, it is important to identify alternative ways to get workers to open up about their mental health as they may be less likely to speak out.