The Housing Industry Association Charitable Foundation (HIACF) has
launched a new initiative to fight depression and anxiety, and reduce suicide
amongst workers in the residential building industry. HIACF is working with leading
mental health advocate, beyondblue on the initiative.
HIA Group Manager - Strategic Alliances, Kevin McLoughlin explains that
depression and anxiety in the construction sector are major problems, with construction
workers more than twice as likely to take their own life as employees in other
industries, suggesting they may not be getting the support they need.
Though the construction industry has a very strong focus on protecting
employees’ physical health, residential construction workers are actually six
times more likely to die by suicide than from a workplace accident. Factors contributing
to depression, anxiety and suicide risk among this segment include financial
stress, substance abuse and relationship breakdown.
With beyondblue being a leader for over a decade in getting depression
and anxiety into the national conversation, HIA sees the association as a
natural fit for the initiative. HIA’s reach within the building industry
combined with beyondblue’s expertise will help improve access to support for
anyone associated with construction when they face mental health challenges.
HIACF was launched in 2012 to improve health and welfare outcomes in the
building industry and the broader community. Since its inception, the
Foundation has raised over $400,000 to support research into mesothelioma and
to provide housing support for the homeless.