At a time when suicide rates are continuing to rise across New Zealand, MATES In Construction is launching to find a way to improve awareness of the significance of suicide and help our mates in the construction industry - and Cake are proud to support them.
MATES In Construction formally launches today (30th October 2019), focusing on opening up communication channels, changing on-site culture and improving knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide in New Zealand's construction industry - It’s all about mates helping mates.
The 2019 BRANZ report Suicide in the NZ Construction Industry Workforce says that in the year to June 2019:
- 685 people died by suicide in New Zealand
- 6.9% (47) of these were attributed to the construction industry
- “The construction industry has the highest proportion of suicides across all industries in NZ.”
To combat this disturbing scenario, the industry-tailored solution MATES In Construction has launched to:
- Deliver an on-site programme to provide the skills to help workers start the discussions with someone that may be struggling on-site or even in their community
- Encourage people to understand the signals and to do something, rather than do nothing, and grasp the idea that suicide is everyone’s business
- Provide long-term support to people who need it, establishing a peer-based support programme in the workplace encouraging workers to offer help ‘when a mate is doing it tough.’ The MATES team includes Field Officers and Case Managers who deliver the programme and are available as much as is needed on-site and on occasions such as post- ventions, critical incidents or people struggling at various levels.
Being set up as a charity, MATES In Construction is initially rolling out across a number of sites in Auckland, including Commercial Bay, Pacifica, Westfield Newmarket, 10 Madden Street and the Sylvia Park expansion. MATES is also working alongside a number of leading organisations to deliver the programme.
Here at Cake there is a strong belief that our people are absolutely our biggest asset - we just wouldn't be anywhere without them.
While we do what we can to support and encourage growth in the personal lives our people, we understand that the issue of suicide is complex and can be deeply personal.
That's why we think that MATES focused and proven programme is a welcomed addition to the New Zealand construction industry, and Cake couldn't be happier to support such an important initiative.
We're looking forward to having the MATES team on-site alongside our people at Commercial Bay, Westfield Newmarket, and Sylvia Park, and we're eager to see the positive impacts they have throughout the industry in the coming years.