The first Northern Territory MATES in Construction accreditation has been awarded to the Hutchinson Builders’ Manunda Place project.
MATES is a workplace program for the construction, mining and energy sectors, training and supporting workers to look out for the mental health of their mates.
In Queensland where the program was first developed, it has been associated with an eight per cent reduction in suicide rates amongst construction workers.
The program was launched in the Territory in February 2019 with the support of the NT PHN and NT Department of Health.
MATES in Construction Field Officer Matthew Hull awarded the accreditation.
“It is great to see how the site has embraced the program. They have trained staff in General Awareness Training and also a network of on-site Connectors – workers easily recognised by a green hard hat sticker as their on-site connection point,” Mr Hull said.
The Territory is in the unenviable situation of being the state or territory in Australia with the highest suicide rates.
“Our research has shown that suicide rates amongst NT construction workers are 104 per cent higher than for other employed men in the NT.
“The same research also showed that suicides amongst NT construction workers is happening at a much younger age than amongst other Territorians.
“The response to the program in Darwin has been really positive both from sites but also from individual workers who have contacted me to help them find the support they needed.
“It is clear to us that MATES in Construction has filled a real need in the NT community.”