Construction workers are more than twice as likely to suicide as other people in Australia; construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than through a workplace accident and apprentices in construction are two and a half times more likely to suicide than other young men their age (Heads Up, 2016).
On top of that:
- On average 8 people a day die from suicide
- Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia
- 1 in 10 workers have been bullied at work
These stats are horrific and confronting and continue to shock and stun our staff, however this can all change; one person at a time!
Our staff know they have the fortunate position of being able to assist many in the electrical industry and wider community; in particular apprentices and trainees, who can shape the future and help build a healthy workplace.
So after the seeing these stats, our staff sat down and asked ‘how can we help stop this?’ The end results of these ‘sit downs’ has seen the creation and implementation of the ‘Let’s Connect’ program, an initiative that has been introduced to mentor, guide and help our apprentices and trainees through difficult times or situations they may face during their apprenticeship or traineeship.
While we all have life experience, knowing what to do and what to look for are vital in assisting when someone might be struggling. Our mentors have undergone training including:
- Emotional first aid – CARFI
- Self-awareness training
- Signs to pick up on – Beyond Blue
- Mental Wellbeing
- Child Safety Standards
- Safety with young people
- Mental health and wellbeing of young people – Generation Next
Plus they continue to improve their knowledge and understanding of issues that affect apprentices/trainees.
Each pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship class in the trade school and every trainee and apprentice employed by NECA Education & Careers has a mentor to ensure that there is someone they can go to for help, info or to simply talk to.
‘Let’s Connect’ covers a variety of issues that they may face including:
- Bullying and harassment
- Mental Health (Depression, Anxiety etc.)
- Difficulties at work/School
- Relationships (partners, family, friends)
- Financial stress
A Resource centre has been established in the Trade School, so students, apprentices and trainees can access resources as they need or have a coffee and chat with their mentor.
If you would like more information contact Steve Marshall on 9381 1922