Make More Good for August 2020 – MATES

Edge Environment’s monthly ‘Make More Good’ donation sends $300 to a worthy cause nominated by a staff member. In August 2020, Edge’s Sustainability Consultant, Theo Snyman, chose MATES to be the recipient.

Having started my journey with Edge early this year, I have been surprised by my colleagues’ generosity and ability to always strive for positive change, albeit in their work or the community. This will be the first time I get to share in the generosity and be able to ‘Make More Good’ in such a way. I choose to support a difficult and confronting cause that can be hard to talk about, even though talking is what can save lives.

It was just another day in June when I got a message from an old colleague calling to ask if I have heard the news? My first thought was a workplace accident as I previously worked in the construction industry, might be cynical to say, but in some sense, that would have been “better news.” For the most part, accidents can be worked through and learned from, but suicide is permanent, too permanent. The construction industry remains disproportionately affected by suicide, and mental health problems, with a life lost every other day. Two of the main driving factors behind this statistic is an industry dominated by men, who still in large believe in keeping problems to themselves and the nature of the construction industry, with workers facing constant uncertainty, both professionally and financially.

With this in mind, I chose to support MATES, as the work they do goes a long way to offer support to individuals battling mental health problems in the construction, mining, and energy industry. MATES is an integrated industry intervention program that aims to raise suicide awareness, build resilient workers, offer support and, inform the industry on best mental health practices.

With R U OK day just past, check in with your mates and really reach out, dig beyond the “Yes I am fine” response, and offer a genuine listing ear. Remember, a burden shared is a burden halved.

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