Construction, mining and building industries personnel within Australia experience high rates of mental health concerns and suicide. MATES is a charity that aims to reduce suicide and support mental wellbeing, particularly within these populations in Australia.
The MATES model is an integrated industry intervention that:
- Raises awareness of suicide as a preventable problem
- Builds stronger and more resilient workers
- Connects workers to the best available help and support
- Partners with researchers to inform industry around best mental health practice.
How does MATES achieve this?
- MATES field staff train workers in the workplace to improve mental health and suicide prevention literacy, increase help-seeking and help offering and engage the workforce in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
- Volunteer Connectors and ASIST workers will be trained to identify, support and connect workers to help and support.
- Field Officers support these workplace volunteers to create on-site networks supporting each other and the worksite in preventing suicide and becoming mentally healthier.
- MATES offers a support line and case management to workers who need help and support.
- MATES partners with researchers to inform the industry to affect positive change.
The newest addition to MATES is the MATES Hub. This is a digital hub that has been designed and built to support Fly In Fly Out/Drive In Drive Out workers, volunteers, family and friends, managers and supervisors.
MATES Hub features a range of helpful tools and resources including:
- Suicide Safe Planning resources to support a mate in distress
- My Connections Summary tool (for MATES volunteers to track and review their interactions as well as see what is trending on the Hub with other volunteers)
- Psychosocial safety in the workplace tools
- Research reports
- Free online training
- ‘I need help’ button that will directly contact a range of critical contacts including MATES and Emergency Services or connect to LifeLine’s Webchat.
An initiative of the MATES Hub is the Monthly Community Challenge aimed at building social connection and positive mental health experiences. Anyone within the MATES community can join in the monthly challenge by checking the Hub for the most recent challenge, recruiting their family members or friends to join in, and creating a video to upload to TikTok or Instagram using the challenge hashtag. MATES will then pick out the top five entries for everyone in the MATES Hub Community to vote for the winner. The 2024 challenge lineup includes:
- Donga Dance
- FIFO’s Got Talent
- Home and Away
- Ice Bath Challenge
- Best Score
- MATES Big Lap.
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