Mental health on construction sites is now accepted as an industry safety concern. Construction workers in Australia are more than twice as likely to suicide than other people. Further, construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than through a workplace accident.1
In response to the heightened mental health risks of the industry, we recently ran a workshop with our national project management team who oversee the development of our assets and work in a high pressure environment with multiple stakeholders, dependencies and deadlines.
The workshop included a general awareness training session by ‘Mates in Construction’, who are an independent charity working on suicide prevention in construction. The training is based on the premise that greater awareness of suicide signs by people on a construction site will increase the chance of intervention and prevention. The training therefore focused on raising awareness of the causes or triggers of suicide, signs to look out for and guidance as to what to do if you suspect someone may be suicidal.
According to Adam Plunkett, Stockland’s National Supply Chain Manager, “the training was such an eye opener for the team and really drove home the importance of looking out for your mates on a construction site before it’s too late”.
We are planning to run similar sessions with our partner builders on large projects, with our Green Hills development slated for Mates in Construction training early this year. In addition, select Project Management representatives will undergo ‘Connector Training’, which is the next level of training to provide our team with further support on mental health and suicide prevention.