diff_months: 20

Case Application: Saving Mates

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Added on: 2022-08-20 00:00:00
Order Code: 438260
Question Task Id: 0

The Mates in Construction (MIC) charity organisation uses the Australian tradition of &mateship to achieve one simple but important purpose: reduce suicide incidence in the building and construction industry. Its an important goal. An average of 190 construction workers take their lives each year: six times more than die from a workplace accident. One reason for this is the building and construction industry employs a lot of young males. Death by suicide accounts for a third of all deaths among young Australian males, whoare three times more likely to die from intentional self-harm than females.Young male construction workers are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than other young Australian men.

Everyone can be part of a solution for saving lives.To change this, MIC operates from the premise that &suicide is everyone business, and that everyone can be part of the solution. The organisations goals are: to raise awareness of suicide and of ways to prevent it; to build the capacity of individuals to help themselves and of workplaces and communities to help people who need support; and to provide help by connecting workers to practical and useful services. These include employee-assistance programs, financial counseling, drug and alcohol services, grief counseling, and family and relationship counseling.

The two key components of the MIC program are training and support. Training is used to raise awareness of the social problem of suicide within the industry, the contributing factors, and the ways in which the problem can be addressed. General awareness training is delivered on building sites to at least 80 percent of workers. Connector training, provided to people who volunteer to be Connectors, trains them to keep someone who is in a crisis safe and connect them to professional help. ASSIST training teaches ASSISTworkers how to talk to someone who is contemplating suicide, how to help them stay safe, and address their worries and concerns, and how to helpthem develop a &safe plan.

Support includes an assistance hotline, case management processes for connecting people to support services, and onsite support from field officers who visit construction sites. Field officers also provide support after critical incidents and accidents, or after the suicide of a worker or a workers family member. In these instances, they focus on helping people deal with grief and emotional reactions to trauma, and on helping Connectors and ASSISTworkers to identify and support people in need of help.

A big part of MICs work is helping workers and the industry to change someof the factors that contribute to suicide in the industry. This includes recognizing that the uncertain nature of employment in building and construction creates a lack of job and financial security that causes stress and anxiety. MIC also addresses perceptions and behaviours within the industry that make them less likely to seek help. These include reluctance to talk about feelings and emotions, perceptions that individuals who acknowledge they are having problems will be perceived as ¬ manly, and the belief that individuals who intend to suicide don't discuss it with others or show signs of needing help.

Changing such entrenched cultural attitudes isn't easy, but by 2020, the MICprogram had trained nearly 210,000 people and managed over 95 cases. Ithas also developed the Mates in Mining, Mates in Energy and Mates in New Zealand programs to provide similar support to workers in the mining and energy fields, and in New Zealand.

Discussion questions

Q. What types of change is Mates in Construction trying to facilitate?

Q. How is MIC facilitating organizational development on buildingand construction sites?

Q. What barriers might prevent MIC from successfully fostering change? How could those barriers be overcome?

Q. How could mining and construction companies reduce the stress experienced by workers in the industry?

  • Uploaded By : Abhi
  • Posted on : June 23rd, 2022
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