Building workers urged to seek help

Southern men working in the construction industry and suffering from mental health issues are being advised to speak up and seek help.

Former builder and now field officer with the charity Mates in Construction Slade McFarland said the culture of the stoic male and hard southern man added to men suffering in silence.

"When they are doing it tough they either don’t talk to anybody or they talk about sport or other things, but not their emotions or feelings, and we are losing a lot of good men."

Construction now had the highest suicide rate of any industry in New Zealand, he said.

Mr McFarland was in Wanaka this week to speak at two free workshops addressing mental health in the building sector.

A Building Skills Maintenance (BSM) Roadshow sponsored workshop raising awareness of mental health issues was held yesterday.

This morning he will be running a workshop sponsored by Mates in Construction at the Wanaka Community Hub on how to keep someone safe in a crisis and connect them to professional help.



The "blues," depression, and mental illness are not feelings. They are facts. The feelings are produced by illness and by life changes in the person who remains the same person but has different attitudes at different times. Talking about your feelings doesn't do anything if you are depressed. What you need is transformation and sometimes than needs the use of the appropriate drugs and counselling. Most of all it requires the love of God.

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