Mates in Construction
Suicide prevention in the construction sector
When it comes to mental wellbeing, the construction sector records some very sobering statistics – losing nearly one person every week to suicide. 98% of those lost are men*
At Safari Group, we want to help change things by supporting the important work of MATES in Construction.
Providing support when it’s needed most
A non-profit, industry-funded organisation, MATES in Construction’s aims include encouraging positive wellbeing for construction workers – and being there to connect them with professional support when it’s needed most.
Its people are trained in suicide intervention skills and have experience within the industry. That means they understand the pressures that can occur when working on-site, and the stress that can be caused.
Image above: Some of the Safari team being inducted into the program.
Getting our people involved
Rene Beukes, Safari Group’s Office Manager, and Gareth Samuels, our Senior Project Manager/Director, are just two of the Safari Group team to have completed the MATES General Awareness Training (GAT). They’re also among the list of people to take part in the Connector Training programme.
With the GAT training, participants are introduced to scope of the problem when it comes to mental wellbeing in the construction sector and given practical guidance as to how they can assist.
Connector Training goes one step further by sharing how to support those who are struggling, while connecting them with professional help.
As Gareth said, “It only takes a small amount of knowledge, and not a great deal of effort, to assist those in a crisis and make a difference.”
Sharing the MATES message
As you’ll see from our photos, the MATES in Construction message is easy to share on-site and it resonates with those who hear it. Most Safari staff have now completed at least the GAT training – and that number will continue to grow.
“We need to speak to our mates when we see they are doing it tough,” said Rene. “The MATES programme not only helps workers but can also be applied outside the workplace to support family and friends, and hopefully spread out into the wider community,” said Rene.