‘Hearing directly from people affected by anxiety or depression, who have thought of – or tried – [taking] their own lives, and yet have found their way back to living, is the most powerful antidote to stigma,’ Ms Gillard says, ‘and often the point at which people recognise that something isn’t right in themselves.’
It’s an unfortunate truth that the construction industry is affected by suicide more than any other industry in Australia, so HIA is doing everything it can to support and educate those in the industry when it comes to mental health.
Between 2001 and 2003, the suicide rate among construction workers was 2.3 times that of other male workers. Between 2011 and 2013, it had dropped to 1.7 times. This is an undeniable improvement, but there’s still quite a way to go in reducing those figures.
The HIA Charitable Foundation (HIACF) and Beyond Blue have been in partnership since 2014. The partnership has facilitated the creation of a number of programs and initiatives, as well as providing much-needed support for a recent nationwide suicide prevention research project.