Let’s tackle
mental health

AMCA Mental Health Awareness Week
23rd–27th October 2017

Talking footy brings us together
So should talking about mental health

Get around your workmates and let’s all tackle a health issue that affects nearly one in two Aussies throughout their lifetime.

Removing the stigma around mental health is everyone’s responsibility, it’s time to start the conversation.



Poor mental health affects nearly one in two Aussies throughout their lifetime


Million Australians are currently living with anxiety or depression


One in five experience a diagnosable mental health problem over a 12 month period


Every two days in Australia a construction worker takes his own life


If someone at work looks like they’re doing it tough, they probably are.

Each of us shares the responsibility to look out for our mates. It’s important to be aware of and recognise some of the signs that might indicate that a mate is struggling.

When significant events happen in our life, things can get really hard. If you know a mate has experienced a loss significant to him or her, it may be worth paying a little extra attention. Significant life events include:

When things are tough, it can be really difficult to maintain life as usual.

Often we can notice changes in behaviours such as:

Changes may be either negative or positive – what you may notice is a behaviour which is different to normal, or out of character.

When things are really falling apart it is common to feel very strong emotions such as:

Emotions can be hard to talk about. However, you may get a sense of these emotions even if they are not clearly stated.

If you know a mate is going through a difficult time, or you notice changes in behaviour and sense feelings like those listed above, it’s important to reach out.

Start the


If you see, hear or sense someone is struggling, reach out. It might be the first step to saving a life.

1. Act

Approach your mate, tell them that you are concerned and that you are there to help. Approach them with:

“Are you ok?”

“I have the sense that not all is ok – you seem so sad, you don’t join us for lunch at the moment – I’m worried about you.”

There are lots of ways to ask people if they are ok, but it is important that we’re upfront and honest; if you are concerned, tell the person. If you are worried they could be thinking about suicide – ask “are you thinking about suicide”.

Let the person know that you have seen them, that you have noticed, and it is important to you.

2. Listen & Talk

Talking helps! Even if we know we need to get extra help, taking the time to hear someone’s story will make them feel better.

You don’t have to offer any solutions, just listen.

A problem shared is a problem halved.


  • Limit interruptions
  • Listen with your eyes
  • Open and affirming body language
  • Reflective listening
  • Be calm / Don’t panic
  • Be patient

Not Helpful

  • Give advice e.g. fixing problems
  • Evaluate or judge behaviour
  • Interpret or counsel
  • Rushing or impatient
  • Closed or negative body language

3. Connect them with help

Keep them safe – if someone is a risk to themselves don’t leave them alone. If your workplace has a MATES in Construction Connector, or an Incolink Support Worker, take your mate to them for help.

Otherwise, contact MATES in Construction or Incolink, or:


If you, or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you’re not alone.

& Tasmania

Wellbeing & Support Service
1300 000 129

Other states
& Territories

MATES In Construction
Helping the Construction Industry
1300 642 111

National helplines

Crisis Support &
Suicide Prevention
13 11 14

Beyond Blue
Depression and Anxiety
Support Service
1300 22 4636

Gambling Help Line
24/7 Advice, Counseling
& Referral
1800 858 858

Family Relationship
Advice Line

1800 050 321

Australian Centre for
Grief & Bereavement

1800 642 066

QLife Australia
LGBTI Counseling & Support
1800 184 527


Self care is about how we look after ourselves so we can continue to look after others, at work, at home and in the community.

Self care is not so much about an event or a program, but about our daily habits. The information below helps us to develop a framework on how we can build good daily habits that can help us care for ourselves so that we can live our life with purpose, enjoyment and fun.

Manage Energy, Not Time
(Jack Groppel)

The Principles

  1. Energy is fixed. Once it is used, it is gone until we renew it
  2. There are four buckets of energy that need our attention at different times to renew our energy
  3. All energy buckets leak and need to be filled on a regular basis
  4. Different people will need different energy levels depending on their life circumstances
  5. Each energy bucket can be filled through specific individual activities

The Four Energy Buckets

Each bucket will have a level that is specific to you to maintain a sustainable level of energy. For example, if you have a child with difficulties you may require more energy in your emotional bucket. If you work a physically demanding job, you will require more energy in your physical bucket.


  • Energy needed for daily activities
  • Quantity of life
  • Body


  • Energy needed for relationships
  • Quality of life
  • Heart


  • Energy needed to solve our daily problems
  • Focus of life
  • Mind


  • Energy needed to develop purpose in your life
  • Force of life
  • Spirit

*Spirituality includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for purpose in life. For example, it may be religious, or political, or environmental among other beliefs; it has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose.

What are your energy levels?

For the last month, how do you energy levels rank out of 10 for each of the four buckets?

Renewing your energy

Sometimes on activity can fill more than one bucket, for example a lovely meal with your partner feeds you (Physical) and builds your relationship (Emotional); a walk or jog through the bush is good for your fitness (Physical) and also clears your mind (Mental/ Spiritual).

What activities can you do to renew
your energy in each bucket?

Have a think and write down what daily habits you can build to renew each of your buckets. Here are some examples that may help.

Bucket check-up

t’s a good idea to do regular check-ups (every 3 months) to ensure your bucket levels are being maintained. You can do this by drawing the four buckets then mark the buckets with a line to indicate the level of energy currently in your bucket.

sk yourself the question “am I happy with the levels in my buckets?” If you are happy, great - keep doing what you are doing. If not, then look towards one or two activities that you can do on a regular basis that will start to fill the energy in the bucket. This sounds simple, but it works. Self care does not need to be complicated and complex!

t is also a good idea to draw up your buckets if you find yourself losing energy or if you are stressed out. It can sometimes point you in the right direction to start to solve your issues.


Visit the following websites for guidance around responsibilities and strategies for creating healthy workplaces.






To arrange training or support around suicide awareness and prevention in the construction industry, contact your state organisation:

Victoria & Tasmania

Incolink Wellbeing
& Support Services

03 9668 3061

General Awareness Sessions (GAS) cover three key topics, are flexible in delivery length and can be presented to small or large groups.

The three topics are:

They can be adjusted to fit the needs of any workplace or group.

Mind Yourself training is underpinned by a simple model of ACT-LISTEN-LINK. It intends to empower participants to be confident in making the first step in supporting someone they choose to support. The educative and practical nature of the training benefits all participants whether or not they go on to play a linking role for others.

Mind Yourself training can be delivered onsite, at an employer’s office, at a union training unit or at Incolink.

Other States & Territories

MATES in Construction
Queensland 07 3833 1140
Western Australia 08 9463 6664
South Australia 08 8373 0122
New South Wales 02 9566 4522

The training program comprises of General Awareness Training (GAT), Connector Training and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

GAT is a one-hour onsite awareness session that leads the workforce through a discussion about suicide and mental health in the industry.

Connector is a four-hour session conducted onsite and provides workers with the confidence to support co-workers in asking about suicide, mental health and in connecting individuals to help.

ASIST is a two-day intensive, practice-based course to help recognise persons who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and empower intervention to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

Following each level of training, participants are provided with a sticker so they can put it on their hard hat and fellow workers know they are someone they can go to if in need of help.