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Sep 15, 2020 | MATES Events, MATES News

‘Suicide survivor’ shares his story in effort to stop construction workers taking their lives

The industry has the highest rates of suicide of any commercial sector in the country, particularly in males, according to Mates For Construction.

Richie Hepi is a construction field officer with Mates For Construction, an organisation dedicated to fighting the high rates and helping those in the industry speak up about their struggles.

Speaking on TVNZ1’s Breakfast today Hepi described himself as a “suicide survivor”. He hopes sharing his story, as hard as it is, will help others reach out for help.

“If it takes for me to be vulnerable and talk about my story and if it helps someone to step forward and reach out for help then it’s okay.

“If my narrative helps them to reach out and find support then I’m okay with it.”

Hepi said he “wasn’t able to find a way and I didn’t know where to get support” at some points during his personal struggle.

As today marks World Suicide Prevention Day, hundreds of construction sites around New Zealand will be flying flags to spread a message about suicide prevention.

The movement behind the message is Mates For Construction.

Mr Hepi says it’s important to spread that message, particularly for males who “don’t like to talk about their emotions”.

“It’s a tough industry, we’re talking to some of the toughest workers out there and if we can get through to them and say ‘Hey man, it’s cool to korero’.

“This is why Mates is here, to encourage our men especially in the construction industry.”

 

Watch the video for more information.

Source: This article courtesy of One News – first published here on Thursday September 10, 2020

Fly the Flag interview TVNZ one Breakfast

Slade’s trip down in Dunedin 

Local media Channel 39 – The South Today caught wind that MATES Field Officer Slade was back to the Dunedin Hospital site during the week of Fly the Flag.

Fly the Flag is for the construction industry to show support and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

Slade was interviewed about the events going on sites throughout the week of Fly the Flag and MATES in Constructions involvement in delivering messages across sites in New Zealand.

Watch the video for more information.

NDH site visit South Island Slade

Construction sites around NZ to fly flags marking World Suicide Prevention Day

Hundreds of construction sites around New Zealand are flying flags to spread a message about suicide prevention.

More than 200 sites are estimated to take part, according to Mates For Construction.

The organisation aims to fight the high rate of suicide among the industry’s workers, which it says is the highest of any commercial sector in the country.

“Flying the Flag to recognise World Suicide Prevention Day shows our industry knows we all need to work collectively, to not only start the conversations about mental health and suicide prevention, but also to know what to do if a mate is struggling,” chief executive Victoria McArthur says.

Some of the pressure affecting people includes feeling like their lives are unravelling, or that they’re in an unbearable situation, McArthur says.

“We need to Fly the Flag to spread the message about suicide prevention and encourage everyone in our industry to support their mates.”

Today marks World Suicide Prevention Day.

 …

Read More HERE.

Source: This article courtesy of One News – first published here on Thursday September 10, 2020

Icon crane flag Fly the Flag

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