Apprentices are up to two times more likely to take their own lives than other young Australians men.


Every two days in Australia, a construction worker takes his own life


Men are four times more likely to die from suicide than women


Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work

Suicide kills more men than cancer and car accidents combined.

Research shows that the MATES in Construction and Incolink programs have reduced suicide rates in the construction industry in areas they have been introduced.

Suicide is preventable.
Recognise the signs, and reach out.


If someone at work looks like they’re doing it tough,
they probably are.

Each of us shares the responsibility to look out for our mates. It’s important to be aware of and recognise some of the signs that might indicate that a mate is struggling.

When significant events happen in our life, things can get really hard. If you know a mate has experienced a loss significant to him or her, it may be worth paying a little extra attention. Significant life events include:

When things are tough, it can be really difficult to maintain life as usual. Often we can notice changes in behaviours such as:

Changes may be either negative or positive – what you may notice is a behaviour which is different to normal, or out of character.

When things are really falling apart it is common to feel very strong emotions such as:

Emotions can be hard to talk about. However, you may get a sense of these emotions even if they are not clearly stated.

If you know a mate is going through a difficult time, or you notice changes in behaviour and sense feelings like those listed above, it’s important to reach out.


Be the difference. Reaching out and letting someone know that help is available, can be the first step to saving a life.

Reach Out

If you see, hear or sense someone is struggling, reach out. It might be the first step to saving a life.

1. Act

Approach your mate, tell them that you are concerned and that you are there to help. Approach them with:

There are lots of ways to ask people if they are ok, but it is important that we’re upfront and honest; if you are concerned, tell the person. If you are worried they could be thinking about suicide – ask “are you thinking about suicide”.

Let the person know that you have seen them, that you have noticed, and it is important to you.

2. Listen & Talk

Talking helps! Even if we know we need to get extra help, taking the time to hear someone’s story will make them feel better. You don’t have to offer any solutions, just listen. A problem shared is a problem halved.


  • Limit interruptions
  • Listen with your eyes
  • Open and affirming body language
  • Reflective listening
  • Be calm / Don’t panic
  • Be patient

Not Helpful

  • Give advice e.g. fixing problems
  • Evaluate or judge behaviour
  • Interpret or counsel
  • Rushing or impatient
  • Closed or negative body language

3. Connect them with help

Keep them safe – if someone is a risk to themselves don’t leave them alone. If your workplace has a MATES in Construction Connector, or an Incolink Support Worker, take your mate to them for help.

Otherwise, contact MATES in Construction or Incolink, or:


If you, or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you’re not alone. Help is available.

Victoria & TASMANIA

Wellbeing & Support Service
(03) 9668 3061 or 0419 568 605

Other states & TERRITORIES

MATES In Construction
Helping the Construction Industry
1300 642 111

National helplines

Crisis Support & Suicide Prevention
13 11 14

Beyond Blue
Depression and Anxiety Support Service
1300 22 4636

Gambling Help Line
24/7 Advice, Counseling & Referral
1800 858 858

Family Relationship Advice Line
1800 050 321

Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement
1800 642 066

QLife Australia LGBTI Counseling & Support
1800 184 527


To arrange training or support around suicide awareness and prevention in the construction industry, contact your state organization:

Victoria & TASMANIA:

Incolink Wellbeing & Support Services
03 9668 3061

General Awareness Sessions (GAS) cover three key topics, are flexible in delivery length and can be presented to small or large groups.

The three topics are:

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Suicide Awareness
  • Alcohol & Other Drugs

They can be adjusted to fit the needs of any workplace or group.

Mind Yourself training is underpinned by a simple model of ACT-LISTEN-LINK. It intends to empower participants to be confident in making the first step in supporting someone they choose to support. The educative and practical nature of the training benefits all participants whether or not they go on to play a linking role for others.

Mind Yourself training can be delivered onsite, at an employer’s office, at a union training unit or at Incolink.

Other States & TERRITORIES:

MATES in Construction
Queensland 07 3833 1140
Western Australia 08 9463 6664
South Australia 08 8373 0122
New South Wales 02 9566 4522

The training program comprises of General Awareness Training (GAT), Connector Training and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

GAT is a one-hour onsite awareness session that leads the workforce through a discussion about suicide and mental health in the industry.

Connector is a four-hour session conducted onsite and provides workers with the confidence to support co-workers in asking about suicide, mental health and in connecting individuals to help.

ASIST is a two-day intensive, practice-based course to help recognise persons who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and empower intervention to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

Following each level of training, participants are provided with a sticker so they can put it on their hard hat and fellow workers know they are someone they can go to if in need of help.