Australia: GFWA committed to prevention of suicides in the construction sector

End of 2017, GFWA (Australian subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy) obtained the Mates In Construction (MIC) label, the only recognised Australian label for prevention of suicide in the construction sector.

Mates In Construction (MIC) is an independent Australian non-profit organisation, which offers training to raise awareness to prevent suicide in the construction industry. It was founded several years ago in Queensland, after Jorgen Gullestrup, the organisation’s current director, lost a close friend to suicide without anyone in his workplace spotting any warning signs.

Within GFWA, 100% of the staff have received training to obtain the accreditation, not only site workers but also personnel at head office and support functions. Most employees followed General Awareness Training, an initial session to help understand the issues and what leads people to feel suicidal, and to recognise the warning signs and risk factors.

Around 10 employees followed the more advanced Connector Training. This in-depth programme was provided to those who volunteered to be “connectors” – in other words people trained in the attitudes to adopt to help a colleague in a crisis situation and put them in touch with the right people within MIC by “connecting” them to professional healthcare aid.

The MIC representative praised the commitment, professionalism, and attentiveness of GFWA staff during this training. In early December, the label was awarded to the team on the Bayswater site taking part in the construction of the Forrestfield-Airport Link (FAL) commissioned by the Western Australia rail transport authority. Other sites have been accredited during the month, and the subsidiary has pledged to continue the process and offer new sessions on our sites, in our workshops and offices.

To find out more: http://matesinconstruction.org.au/