About | Suicide Prevention in Construction - Mates in Construction NZ
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‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari i te toa takitini’

‘My strength is not of a single warrior but that of many’

MATES in Construction has three key focus areas to work towards their vision of significantly improving mental wellness and reducing suicide in the construction industry:

MATES NZ Field Officers


To advance mental health and social services in New Zealand by promoting the prevention and control of mental illness for people engaged in the construction industry. We do this through:

  • Raising awareness of mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention in the workplace.
  • Reducing the stigma around mental health in the workplace.
  • Providing a learning experience that grows knowledge of help seeking behaviours and how to help.
  • To bring together the NZ construction industry to recognize and adopt our uara (values).


Providing leadership for our people to gain better access to mental health services. We do this through:

  • Connecting workers to the best available help and support.
  • Ensuring help is offered that is practical, professional and appropriate.
  • Advocating to improve the services available the construction industry, for more affordable healthcare for our workers.
  • Ensuring language, culture and identity are acknowledged in everything that we do.


    Building a stronger more resilient workforce. We do this through:

    •  Partnering with researchers to inform industry around mental health best practice.
    • Promoting community enablement and a suicide prevention continuum.
    • Enabling our people to grow their capability and access to support to a develop healthier and more sustainable future.

      The Four Pillars of MATES in Construction

      The MATES delivery model is not linear, it moves back and forth – each site has its own community ecosystem which exists within the greater industry environment. Therefore, what we do on one site will influence other sites.

      The provision of training, case management and helpline services are elements of our model, but there is a complex interaction between all the different parts. The true value of MATES is not the sum of these elements, but how they exponentially build on each other.

      MATES Programme Schematic

      Why are we so vulnerable?

      Life stresses happen in most people lives, however coupled with stresses created at work, means we are often more vulnerable than others.

      Life event

      Relationship problems

      Pending legal matters

      Finanacial problems


      Recent / pending unemployment

      Work problems


      Child custody disputes

      Other life events

      Workplace issues

      Long working hours

      A culture of heavy alcohol use

      Bullying behaviours

      A culture of not allowing discussion of problems with mates

      A male dominated industry

      Financial management issues

      Lack of job security