Why MATES Exists: The Problem

Research has been conducted, revealing some sobering facts:

- It is estimated that between 11 and 25 (per 100,000 mining workers) die by suicide each year.

- Blue-collar workers in male-dominated industries are at higher risk of suicide than other employed men.

- FIFO workers show increased levels of distress.

Why is this happening in the Australian mining sector?

Other research has shown that workers find it difficult to discuss feelings and emotions with colleagues at work, and the nature of the work has made social support more difficult. ‘Pride’ is identified as an issue: male workers have a problem with not being viewed as ‘manly’. Participants of the research held a strong belief that suicide was an impulsive act and that someone intending to take their own life would show no signs and not discuss it.

What can we do about it?

Suicide is everyone's business. The MATES program creates a structure of mates helping mates on site, comprising evidence-based training and support for workers and their families who may be doing it tough. MATES Training, starting with General Awareness Talks, is designed to reduce stigma around mental health and provide skills necessary to support a mate in distress. MATES Support is provided by Field Officers directly to sites and Case Management via the MATES 24/7 Helpline 1300 642 111.

See MATES Research