A new survey has revealed that the building sector has the highest male suicide rate of any industry in New Zealand.

A Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) survey has shown that the macho culture and the industry’s cycle of booms and busts contribute to poor mental health of workers.

Suicide among building and construction workers accounts for seven percent of all suicides.

Federation CEO Bruce Kohn says the industry will heed the findings and try to improve.

“I don’t think the industry can do much on its own, but I think it can contribute much by recognising the concern that exists over this and addressing it.”

One organisation training the next generation of builders says it’s putting an increasing emphasis on wellness and mental health.

BCITO chief executive Warwick Quinn they’re taking more steps towards a holistic safety programme, which includes mental health assistance.

“We’re not trained in that space, it’s quite a technical area, but being aware of it and being able to provide potential guidance on where to go to get help is one of the things that we are exploring.”

‘Mates in Construction’, an Australian construction worker suicide prevention programme, is currently being trialled in Nelson and Timaru.

Where to get help:

If you are worried about your or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (for under 18s)
What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18-year-olds 1pm–10pm weekdays and 3pm–10pm weekends)
Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463
Healthline – 0800 611 116

Source: Newstalk ZB

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