Beyond Blue has partnered with the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Charitable Foundation to help address the alarming rates of suicide in the residential construction industry.
Ron Dwyer, Chairman of the HIA Charitable Foundation presented Beyond Blue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC and CEO Georgie Harman with a cheque for $300,000 in August. The first of three major donations over three years will help fund important research to inform the development of a national suicide prevention campaign.
Mr Dwyer said the residential construction industry had come together to help address what is a critical issue.
“There needs to be far more awareness of looking after mental health in the building industry,” Mr Dwyer said.
“We are optimistic that over the next three years we will start to see significant changes.”
Australian research has revealed those working in male-dominated industries – such as transport, agriculture and construction – are at higher risk of experiencing depression and anxiety than workers in other industries, and are 1.8 to 2.2 times more likely to die by suicide.
“We have partnered with Beyond Blue to provide education and support in these areas, and to raise awareness of mental health conditions that can affect one in four people employed in our industry,” Mr Dwyer said.
Ms Harman said Beyond Blue was extremely grateful for the generosity of the HIA Charitable Foundation.
“Beyond Blue is committed to breaking through social barriers blocking open and safe discussion of suicide and suicide prevention,” said Ms Harman.
“We know men are more than twice as likely to die by suicide, but are reluctant to seek help if they are having a tough time.
“Male-dominated workplaces – such as the residential construction industry – have to change their cultures around discussion of mental health and HIA is to be congratulated for stepping up to lead that change.”
The research is expected to be complete by June 2017, with the findings to inform a national campaign.
Above: Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman, Chairman of the HIA Charitable Foundation Ron Dwyer, and Beyond Blue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC.