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“All it takes to save someone’s life is a conversation. I’m one of the lucky ones, some people out there don’t have the friends, family, and workmates like I do. They need the support.”

Our lives have changed dramatically over the last few years, with the effects of COVID, isolation, economic and housing difficulties, natural disasters, and so many other factors contributing to an unpredictable sense of personal health and well-being. For many Australians, the workplace is where much of our lives are spent, so it’s important we have a culture that allows us all to feel comfortable, safe, and generally all right – without adding to outside pressures or stress. This is especially true for our industry, where on average, Australia loses one construction worker every two days to suicide.

Around the world, October is recognised as a month for Mental Health Awareness, with many mental health-focused pushes falling in October. This year, COLAS participated in One Foot Forward – a walk in solidarity for the 1 in 5 Australians who experience symptoms of mental illness each year, where participants logged the amount they walked throughout the month and would pledge money to the cause. The COLAS team who participated in One Foot Forward this year walked 769 kilometres and raised $997 for the charity. COLAS matched this for a total of $2,000 raised.

COLAS was also involved in Tread As One, a similar program that saw our COLAS Solutions Somersby employee Mitch Sheppard set a goal to run 35 kilometres, and raise $300 for mental health awareness through the RUOK? Foundation. Mitch ended his month by absolutely smashing his goals – running 43 kilometres and raising $1063 for the cause.

Thank you to all those that participated in the awareness actions in October! If you’d like to participate in next year’s One Foot Forward challenge, reach out to Paula Perna.

And if you’re finding things tough right now, the MATES in Construction helpline is open 24/7 specifically for us in the construction industry (1300 642 111).

Published: Tue 07 February 2023