CQU TAFE Mackay students and staff connect for Mates In Construction sessions

17 October 2022

CQUniversity's Construction teachers and students in Mackay have come together in support at a new Mates in Construction and Mates in Mining – General Awareness Course.

Mates in Construction Queensland is a nation-wide charity that aims to reduce the high incidence of suicide amongst construction workers.

The charity visits CQUniversity several times a year to talk to the students about what signs to look for in their mates and how to connect them with help' if needed.

CQU Mackay hosts regular Mates in Construction sessions each year for its apprentices and the new Connector Training aimed to seek volunteers to become Connectors – a person trained to help keep someone safe in a crisis while connecting them to professional help.

About 110 students plus staff attended three sessions recently for the training' which also provided a BBQ breakfast and sausage sizzle lunch to allow the participants to check in on each other.

CQU provides information on Mates and Construction and local mental health support agencies to its apprentices and staff at the Mackay Ooralea Campus.

CQU's Acting Head of Course for Construction Stewart Larsson said the latest training session was well-received by the apprentices and staff.

"The overall feedback from staff and students has been very positive'" he said.

"We are already discussing the possibility of having Mates in Construction and Mates In Mining back to the campus for more Connector Training soon.

"We have also discussed expanding this training to our other campuses' starting with Rockhampton.

"We really want to repeat these sessions throughout the year to try and capture as many apprentices as we can to save lives."

Mates in Construction Field Officer Emma Sanders commended CQU on its continued support of the program.

"It's great to watch CQU Mackay Campus go from stride to stride; positively engaging and supporting raising awareness to create a safer community'" she said.

For more information visit https://mates.org.au/training-support

If you or someone you know needs to speak to someone' consider the following National Support Services:

Lifeline 24 Hour Crisis Line: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Women's Crisis Line: 1800 811 811

Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636

Headspace: 1800 650 890

SANE Australia: 1800 187 263