Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

MATES in Construction: Suicide In The Construction Industry

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The MATES in Construction charity was established by The Building Employees Redundancy Trust (BERT) in 2008 to reduce suicide in the construction industry and improve the mental health and wellbeing of Queensland construction workers. It has since become available in NSW, SA and WA.

"Around the world, suicide rates among those employed in blue collar occupations such as construction are higher than those in other occupational groups..."

Many of us have lost someone to suicide or have been affected by suicide in some way. MENGAGE proudly supports the MATES in Construction program efforts to raise awareness and reduce the number of suicides in the construction industry.


Research reveals that around 190 Australians working in the construction industry die by suicide each year.

MATES in Construction provides on-site suicide prevention training to workers in the construction industry to notice changes in their co-workers' behaviours and encouraging and supporting those in crisis to seek help. 

Not only are suicide rates higher among construction workers, but they are also at particular risk according to the report pdfSuicide in the Construction Industry, prepared by Dr Allison Milner from Deakin University.

This report assesses the recent trends in suicide and examines whether rates of suicide in the construction industry are higher than in other professions.

Key findings of the report:

  • From the period 2001 to 2010 1,947 male suicides were identified in the construction industry in Australia, and during that time the suicide rate among labourers were markedly higher than the general male population.
  • Those employed in lower skilled jobs in the construction industry are at greater risk of suicide than those in higher skilled jobs in the construction industry.
  • The health of workers in the construction industry may be impacted by poor psychosocial work conditions including dangerous work conditions, physically demanding and long hours, project deadline pressures and lack of job security. 

Recommendations for prevention

  • Lower skilled workers should be prioritised in prevention and intervention initiatives.
  • While the MATES in Construction program has received positive feedback within the construction industry, long-term efforts are needed to assess the effectiveness of this program in reducing suicidality.
  • Intervention efforts need to address possible work-related risk factors for suicide.


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