Today for R U OK? Day, the McGowan Government will fly the MATES in Construction flag at Parliament House and provide $310,000 in funding to raise mental health awareness among construction and FIFO workers.
MATES in Construction, a charity established in 2008 to reduce the high level of suicide among Australian construction workers, will provide support and assistance to individuals and families affected by suicide in the construction industry, including FIFO sites across Western Australia.
A standby response co-coordinator will oversee industry-specific case management protocols and educate industry workers on mental health and wellbeing.
Research conducted by MATES in Construction revealed that each year, an average of 190 Australians working in the construction industry die from suicide, and workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than from an accident in the workplace.
R U OK? Day is a national day of action dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with their loved ones, friends and work colleagues to talk about their mental health.
Checking in with someone includes asking R U OK?, listening to them, encouraging action and following up.
"We are flying the flag today, because workers, their families, and the whole community need to hear the message that it's OK to look after your mental health and wellbeing and to talk to each other about it," Mental Health Minister Roger Cook said.
"This additional funding will allow MATES in Construction WA to continue their important work in addressing issues of mental health and suicide in the building and construction industry, and among FIFO workers."