Thanks to all our Australian customers who purchased Nitoseal Sealants in March 2022, helping us support Mates in Construction. For every sausage of Nitoseal Sealants sold during the campaign, Fosroc ANZ donated 25c towards MATES' suicide prevention training programs, which are offered free to construction workplaces all over Australia. We are proud to support MATES' vital work and encourage our customers to learn more about how they can help prevent suicide at MATES in Construction.






Did you know construction workers in are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work? MATES in Construction research also shows young workers are well over two times more likely to take their own lives than other young men.







But there is hope, and everyone can take action to help. MATES has found that construction workers are more likely to accept support if it's offered by a mate or a colleague, rather than seeking help on their own.


Courageous conversations save lives

MATES in Construction was founded in 2018 to address the industry's high suicide rates. The charity delivers evidence-based suicide prevention and mental health programs to the building, mining, energy and construction industries.

With a mantra of 'suicide is everyone's business', MATES operates free services for construction workers, including a support line, case management and workplace training.

Nick Thompson is Manager of Industry Engagement & Client Support at MATES. He says having "courageous conversations" at work can save lives.

"A male-dominated workforce and insecure employment both contribute to the higher rates of suicide in construction" Nick says. “COVID-19 has been an unsettling time for everybody. Now more than ever, it’s important to check on your friends and colleagues.”

It takes courage to speak up and ask someone about their mental health. But with the right approach, the workplace can be a safe setting to offer help.

“On construction sites, people spend a lot of time together day in, day out. You get to know each other. You may be in the best position to recognise when someone is not their usual self and may need support,” Nick explains.

MATES in your workplace

MATES welcomes invitations from construction businesses who want to take advantage of its free General Awareness Training. MATES educators run sessions at construction sites and office environments all around Australia.

During a 45-minute session, they share evidence of high suicide rates and arm workers with the skills to reach out and help their colleagues. Individual staff can also volunteer for Connector training, with further education about how to connect colleagues with support.

“We normalise the fact that most people, not only construction workers, will have some mental health challenges at some point in their lives. We explain that the suicide rates are really high, but we can all take action to help," Nick says.

"After the training, we find that people are then more willing to check on their mates and say ‘Hey mate, how can I help you out? Let's get you some support'."

Individual staff can also volunteer for Connector training, with further education about how to connect colleagues with support.

Finding help

To safely connect people at risk of suicide with the support they need, Nick urges friends and colleagues to "walk with people" to get help. For example, physically standing beside them when they call a helpline or going with them to their first counselling appointment. Checking in regularly is also important.

The MATES helpline AU 1300 642 111, NZ 0800 111 315 is available for people who want to seek help for themselves, or if you need advice about how to help a colleague.

“Anyone in the industry can call MATES. Whether you work on the tools or at the desk, we are here to support anyone that is identified as needing mental health support or may be having thoughts of suicide.” Read MATES' 8 tips for how to start a supportive conversation with someone you're worried about.