A new approach to mental health

30 August 2019

A new approach to mental healthLeading players in Australia are taking a preventative approach to mental health problems. In our latest edition of Building Sight, we look at the increasing focus on wellbeing from a construction perspective such as how it could impact on the built environments we create, how technology is improving occupational health and the risk of psychological injury due to stress.

The last decade has seen a significant shift in attitudes toward mental health in Australia’s construction industry.

One of the catalysts for change has been the charity MATES in Construction.

Set up in 2008 in response to the disproportionately large number of suicides among construction workers, MATES has since trained nearly 170,000 people and managed more than 8,200 cases.

At the heart of a preventative approach is the provision of information and training for employees — most importantly, managers and supervisors.

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Helplines and counseling for employees and their families are also now commonplace in construction, and one of Recovre’s most popular training courses is in mental health first aid.

Studies demonstrate that there is a strong business case for mental health training.

Providing four hours of mental health training to managers resulted in a potential return on investment of 9.98 times the cost of that training, according to a medical study on the Australian Fire and Rescue Service, published in 2017 by the international peer review journal The Lancet Psychiatry.

Some construction companies are going even further.

For instance, Recovre is working with a major contractor as it implements a complete health, safety, and well-being program on a huge government project that will run over several years.

The program will include mandatory physical and mental health training as part of the induction process, and a psychologist on site once a month.

Ten years ago, construction companies used rehabilitation services sparingly, after a physical injury had occurred and generally only when employees were struggling to return to work.

Today, they are creating programs to prevent injuries and improve the overall wellness of employees, both physical and mental.

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  • Jacqueline MilsonJacqueline Milson

    Jacqueline has 12 years’ experience in the Workplace Health, Safety and Rehabilitation industry in addition to clinical Physiotherapy experience in a variety of areas including rehabilitation, aged care, paediatrics, intensive care and sport.

    Jacqueline is passionate and committed to supporting organisations to develop strategies for prevention, early identification and intervention in order to reduce the impact of injuries.

    In the role of Recovre’s national account manager for the past 5 years, Jacqueline understands the importance of incorporating a pro-active approach in managing all claims to ensure a successful outcome is achieved.

    Jacqueline works within a team environment that support The Recovre Group’s customer engagement both internally and externally. She works very closely with all staff to encourage they provide a very high level of customer service and she assists in mentoring less experienced staff to encourage professional development.

    For further information, contact Jacqueline Milson, National Customer Engagement Manager for Recovre on + 61 410 003 659.

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