In a male-dominated industry like building, which is renowned for traditionally having a macho culture, mental health took a long time to be addressed and spoken about.
In Australia, one in two men will experience mental health problems during their life. One in eight men have depression. More despairingly, six men each day take their life through suicide*. Very, very sad statistics.
Recent research from Deaken University for organisation MATES in Construction shows that construction workers are twice more likely to commit suicide as other people in Australia, representing an average of 182 deaths per year. The construction industry is a tough industry with a fast paced and demanding environment, sometimes including job uncertainty, travelling long distances and being away from family and friends for long periods of time.
As local builders, we are lucky to work in the city we live but this is not the case for everyone. There are a lot of factors that contribute to these startling suicide rates but it’s never too late to start making a change and creating an environment that makes it OK to say I need help.
This is the reason we are participating in Movember right now because we want to get more people talking about men’s health and not making it such a taboo topic. And please if life feels like it has become too hard, reach out! There is always help at hand! And remember its ok to talk about your feelings and ask your mates if they are OK? **
If you need immediate assistance, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.