Construction industry comes together to support ACT construction apprentice mental health
The CFMEU, Creative Safety Initiative (CSI) and Construction Charitable Works (CCW) have launched their mental health training and support program for ACT construction apprentices.
CSI will be delivering mental health awareness training sessions to construction industry apprentices during Mental Health Month and up till the Christmas close down. This training will be provided at no cost to the apprentices or their employer.
The training sessions will provide valuable information to apprentices on their mental health and ways to help themselves and those around them.
This training was developed in recognition that construction industry workers are:
- two times more likely to die by suicide than the community;
- 21% of construction workers have had a mental health condition; and
- apprentices are two and half times more likely to die by suicide than other young men their age.
These figures were collected prior to COVID. It is reasonable to expect that these figures would be greater now due to COVID.
“Workers are struggling, young apprentices are struggling” CSI chief executive Anthony Vitler says.
“Apprentices are the future of the industry and CSI want them to feel supported and knowledgeable about their mental health. The goal of this training is to encourage apprentices to seek help when they are struggling and to do it early.”
CCW will attend all training session to provide welfare support to attendees. CCW provides specialised support and case management to construction industry workers and their family members. The holistic services endeavour to support apprentices to navigate life through counselling, case management, support, advocacy and referral to relevant services.
“Apprentices are a high-risk group within a high risk industry. Apprentices are often for the first time managing adult life stresses such as relationship breakdowns, financial stress and problems at work. In addition, COVID has isolated many apprentices from their usual supports,” CCW’s Shayne Hall says.
As a result of COVID the industry has experienced its first industry wide close down, online learning for apprentices, strict COVID management practices on-site and isolation from many support systems.