According to recent studies, mental health is a growing concern in the Australian construction industry. The pressure to meet deadlines, tight schedules and physical demands of the job can take a toll on workers' mental health. Research shows that every year 190 Australians working in the construction industry take their own lives; this means we lose a worker every second day to suicide. This alarming trend highlights the need for more attention and support to address mental health issues in the industry and beyond.
Alongside our continual focus on wellbeing, Hansen Yuncken is pleased to introduce ‘Me Time,’ the latest addition to our employee benefits program. The new offering encourages team members to take extra, well deserved time outside of work to focus on wellbeing and things that are important to them.
“We recognise ‘Me Time’ will look different to everyone, so it’s intentionally flexible – three extra days a year dedicated to health and wellbeing activities, birthdays and culturally significant days to reset and refresh. One of many ways we aim to support our people’s holistic wellbeing” said National Human Resources Manager, Claudine Lucas.
The launch coincides with the official opening of Tasmania’s first of its kind mental health facility, The Peacock Centre. The Centre will host four new services for the Tasmanian community, providing contemporary, recovery focused and compassionate care - helping people to get the right support, at the right time.
Expertly designed to provide best in class support, The Peacock Centre houses a 12-bed short stay unit providing specialist assessment and treatment in a homelike environment for people who do not require admission to hospital. This will increase the overall capacity of mental health services, delivering intensive, community based mental health care.
Last year, The Peacock Centre project played host to “Place a Hand for Mental Health” - a grassroots initiative and central theme of Hansen Yuncken’s R U OK? Day activities.
The initiative involved placing permanent handprints on the lining of the external face of the building, a positive legacy of support for mental health awareness within the project team and all subcontractors on site - and within the building fabric itself.
With community at the forefront of our operations, “teammates rallied to support the significant rebuild of the project following a deliberately lit fire, initiating the campaign in support of their project workmates and promoting mental health awareness in the industry more broadly. A permanent reminder has now been time capsuled within the walls of the project for future generations,” said Hansen Yuncken Tasmanian State Manager, Matt Cadle.
Hansen Yuncken has partnered with industry organisations Mates in Construction, R U OK?, Incolink’s Blue Hats, Speak Up Stay Chatty and Gotcha4Life in an effort to extend support far and wide. More needs to be done to address mental health issues in the construction industry - employers, industry organisations, and government agencies need to continue to work together to provide support and resources for workers and create a collective response to workplace wellbeing. By doing so, we can help to create a safer and healthier workplace for our industry.