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Real Mates Talk at Austchrome

People often overlook the ‘Heath’ in Workplace Health & Safety, but the most significant health concern that is often missed is the invisible health, the ‘Mental Health’.  If undiagnosed, missed, or poorly managed, mental health problems can contribute to the safety of oneself or those surrounding them. We must be careful because Mental health doesn’t just affect your safety at work; it can have devastating implications for one’s personal life.

Mental health has never been more relevant, with many organisations looking to create a mentally healthy workplace.

I have been an advocate for Mental Health for many years, and sadly I lost a friend to Suicide in March this year. Since starting work at Austchrome, I have made it a personal task to raise awareness for mental health in our workplace. 

When I was approached by a Leading Hand, Blair Luff (Who, also recently lost a friend to suicide), Blair suggested we could do a ‘Mental Health Monday’. With approval from our new Operations Manager Andrew Hiscock, I got to it straight away.

I recently contacted a great organisation expressing my interest in volunteering and becoming an ambassador for their great cause, ‘Real Mates Talk’.

The Real Mates Talk men’s campaign intends to prevent suicide attempts and deaths of men in our community and support them to connect with others and live well. Real Mates Talk encourages men in their community to ask, “What’s up mate?”. It encourage men (and women) to ask for help and supports them to have places to go to connect with others.

This contact with Real Mates Talk proved to be an excellent opportunity to support a worthwhile cause and help to highlight the hidden health concern. Immediately, I sourced approval from the manager of ‘Real Mates Talk’ to use their logo, sourced a supplier who could supply the appropriate shirt, and worked with them for the design. Within weeks we had a design signed off, and shirts ordered.

Vivaming was perfect for the upcoming Mental Health Month, the first working day of October, we released the initiative to the staff and got the conversation started

What’s Up Mate?”

Auschrome team - Real Mates Talk

There are some clear and measurable benefits for businesses that create a mentally healthy workplace

  • A decrease in the number of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • Thriving workers who choose to remain with the business
  • An increase in productivity
  • A decrease in absenteeism
  • A reduction in turnover and selection costs
  • An ability to attract top talent

Flexibility and support are critical drivers for employees to remain working for our business. Therefore, creating a mentally healthy workplace to retain our valued employees makes sense. After all, we’ve spent time and money sourcing, recruiting, onboarding, and training them.

Below are some statistics from Lifeline:

  • 8.6 Australians die every day by suicide. That’s more than double the road toll.
  • 75% of those who take their own life are male.
  • An unknown number of Australians attempt suicide annually, with some estimates suggesting that this figure may be over 65,000.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.
  • The suicide rate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is twice that of their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • People in rural populations are 2 times more likely to die by suicide.

Sources can be found on the lifeline website.

James Loveless

James Loveless

HSEQ Advisor

Our knowledge and expertise in the craft of machining, chroming and repair is unmatched