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Simpro's new mates

Software-as-a-service solutions provider simPRO has announced a partnership with suicide awareness, prevention and support programme provider MATES in Construction

MATES in Construction works in the Australian and New Zealand construction industry to reduce the stigma attached to seeking help for mental health problems. By partnering with the programme, simPRO hopes to reduce the number of lives the construction industry loses to suicide each year.

Researchers from Otago University found that construction workers (which includes landscapers) are twice as likely than the rest of the Kiwi workforce to die by suicide, while Māori men are “significantly overrepresented” and make up more than 20% of all deaths. All males between 20 and 24-years-old are the highest risk cohort and make up 16% of deaths.

Mental health focus is more important than ever

“These research findings show it’s more important than ever that we increase our focus on mental health in the workplace. We know that for the predominantly male construction workforce, this isn’t a group that is likely to proactively seek help or reach out to offer it,” said MATES CEO Victoria McArthur.

“This information will help to offer more targeted support as we now have a more detailed picture of the scale and who is affected.”

The research was carried out in conjunction with BRANZ. General Manager Research Dr Chris Litten said that it’s important to know why men are disproportionally affected by suicide.

“The more we know about these stress factors, the better the industry can address the root causes and work with providers like MATES in Construction on developing tailored support programmes. It’s also great to see that co-workers are more aware of the issue and looking out for their mates – that’s going to be a good thing.”

Training required

To help identify and respond to warning signs that someone may be at risk of suicide – whether that be a customer or co-worker – simPRO has teamed up with MATES in Construction. As part of the partnership, its Aussie and NZ staff will undergo MATES in Construction’s General Awareness training.

The training is designed to:

  • Raise awareness of suicide as a preventable problem.

  • Build stronger and more resilient workers.

  • Connect workers to the best available help and support.

  • Communicate best practices designed to boost mental health by partnering with leading researchers.

“The mental health of the trade industry is a cause that simPRO is fully behind,” said Sean Diljore, CEO of simPRO. “One of our guiding values is that ‘We Care’ – not only for our employees but for our local communities and customers. If, through our training, we can help even one person in the industries we serve, our commitment to MATES in Construction will be worth it.”

simPRO will also be supporting MATES in Construction at industry events and participating during “Fly the Flag” day in September – a day set aside to celebrate what the construction industry is doing to create awareness of the importance of their workers’ mental health.

MATES in Construction, Mining and Energy deliver suicide prevention and mental health programmes in the construction, building, mining and energy sectors. It does so via raising awareness, connecting workers to help, providing evidence-based information and empowering individuals to make a difference for their workmates in construction.


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