How can a culture of help-offering create mentally healthier workplaces working stronger together? My approach to workplace mental health and suicide prevention is based in my own lived experience as a plumber, suicide survivor and by having recovered from mental illness. My passion for the topic comes from the mates that didn’t make it, that didn’t find the support and purpose they needed before it was too late. In this presentation I will share some of the barriers we faced when designing the MATES in Construction program and how finding ways to overcome these barriers became the key strengths of the program over time. I will also discuss a five pillar model for workplace mental health and suicide prevention developed for the building and construction industry and how individual business can use these principles to analyse their own needs. Most of all I will discuss the need for a bottom up approach to mental health and suicide prevention.
Participants in this session will hear the following key messages:
- The importance of lived experience in program design
- Take time to identify barriers before solutions
- Develop integrated and comprehensive approaches
- It’s not really that hard, so let’s start.