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More than 500 construction sites across Australia took part in SAS Group client MATES in Construction’s (MATES) annual ‘Fly the Flag Day’.

MATES had the privilege of the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, ‘flying the flag’ this year, COVID safe style from his office.

“Today is Fly the Flag Day for MATES. It’s also R U Ok Day and World Suicide Prevention Day. They come together to say that any one of us at any time can suffer a mental health challenge, and this year more than any other the pressures of the pandemic~, bush fires, and the economic circumstances, mean we have to watch out for each other. And MATES is about watching out for each other,” Mr Hunt said. 

‘Fly the Flag’ Day’s goal is to raise awareness and provide the support needed to workers experiencing mental health challenges. A worker in the construction industry is six times more likely to be lost to suicide than to a workplace accident.

MATES’ CEO Chris Lockwood said job insecurity, high work demands, and financial stress combined with relationship breakdowns put workers in the construction industry at greater risk.

“MATES will continue to do all we can to prevent suicides in this and similar high-risk industries,” Mr Lockwood said.

“This year has seen MATES stepping up, not down through the challenges of COVID19 – with Mates supporting their Mates through some of the toughest times that many have faced.”

Watch Minister Hunt 'Fly the Flag' here

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