The construction industry has a high suicide rate compared to other industries.
The overall suicide rate of the general population is 12.3 per 100,000. A 2006 study by the Australian Institute for Suicide and Prevention found that Queensland Commercial Building Construction Industry employees aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 58.6 deaths per 100,000.
This is higher than even Russia which leads the way with 34.3 per 100,000
One reason for the high rates of suicide could be attributed to many of the workers belonging to the high risk age group of 15-24, as it is a job that employes many young apprentices as well as school leavers. Another factor I believe is the irregular work and downtime, a lack of stability is not good for mental health.
Also a high divorce and separation rate caused by strain on the relationship from long work hours can lead to problems.
There is also the problem of drugs and alcohol, this is a problem across all society but I believe it to be more prevalent in the construction industry.
Suicide is a big issue in our society however its not an often spoken about subject. The fact is that you are over three times more likely to kill yourself than be murdered, it is the leading cause of death of men under 44 and women under 34 in Australia and it causes more deaths than road accidents
Mates in Construction was introduced after a study into the high rate of suicides in construction workers, whilst I hope that this program will reduce the number of deaths and increase mental health I think more needs to be done to address this problem. If construction workers were a country they would have almost twice the rate of suicides than the next highest country.
If you think more should be done for the people that build our dwellings please contact the health minister its easy you can just click on the inquiries form
If you prefer pen and paper write to
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848,
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
or you can freecall 1800 020 103
The inaugural mental health conference for construction industry will occur this month on 20th February, if you are interested in attending or for more the details are here
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