Mental Health Awareness

Did you know that one in six Australians is currently experiencing depression, anxiety or both? The construction industry employs more than 625,000 people across Australia, making it one of the biggest employers in the country, this means that there is a good chance that you or someone you work with is struggling with or at some stage has struggled with their mental wellbeing.  


There are some pretty shocking stats that show how mental health and wellbeing affects Aussies:

  • 1 in 4 Australians are lonely and have no-one to speak to
  • Workers in the construction industry are six times more likely to die by suicide than through workplace accidents
  • It’s estimated that 45 percent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime
  • In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety


We are increasingly more aware that mental health and wellbeing is a serious issue that affects so many of us. When people are struggling with their mental health and going through a rough time it can be hard for them to seek help or talk about it. We can look out for our friends and colleagues because we know there is a good chance that at least one of them may need someone to talk to. 


Poor mental health and well-being come in many shapes and sizes but there are some common signs to look out for. It typically looks like a change in behavior rather than a one-off incident or if they are just ‘having a bad day’. If you see any of these signs or changes in behaviour it might be time to reach out to your friend or workmate:

  • A talkative or sociable person pulling away or isolating themselves
  • Normally relaxed or easy going but now are agitated or aggressive
  • Coming in to work late or not at all
  • Finding it hard to cope with day to day things
  • Finding it hard to concentrate or finish tasks
  • Using alcohol and/or drugs to cope


If you see these signs, your friend or workmate might need a helping hand. They might need you to check in on them and see how things are going. This can be hard and scary if you don’t know what you are doing when dealing with mental health and wellbeing. Reaching out to someone who is struggling can be the first step towards getting them the help that they need. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be a friend. 


Fortunately for us in Australia, there are so many organisations that exist solely to help people with their mental health and well-being. If you see someone struggling, encourage them to get in touch with one of these organisations for more help. If you need more guidance in dealing with the situation you can call too. Here is some of the places (there are more) you can contact if you or a friend are struggling with mental health:

  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

For more resources on how to check in on a workmate download the free guide from RUOK? Here 

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