Incolink has been trusted by construction workers for 30 years to look after their redundancy entitlements, mental and physical health and wellbeing. This October we introduced a new suicide awareness and prevention program, Bluehats, to provide support to construction workers and their families in Victoria.
Why have Bluehats on site?
Incolink understands mental health and suicide is a huge issue in our communities and in our industry. Unfortunately, too many of us know someone who has been touched by suicide. This is a demanding industry and sometimes the going can get tough.
Bluehats is a new Incolink suicide prevention initiative, designed in partnership with the construction industry, to help workers who are on site when they’re feeling down or just need to talk to someone.
The Bluehats initiative will specially train workers to offer support to workers who are doing it tough. These volunteers will wear a unique blue hard hat on site so they are easy to identify.
Any worker who wears these special Bluehats can link those who need it to specialist service providers, including Incolink counsellors, with the aim of reducing suicide in the construction industry. We are hoping the program will also reduce the stigma of someone saying they need help.
As part of the Bluehats program, one-hour General Awareness Sessions (GAS) for all workers will roll out across the industry over the next 12 months. These sessions have been designed by Incolink to be an extended ‘tool box’ on mental health and wellbeing and will be delivered to all workers – on the tools and in the office.
Although Incolink will be getting in touch with companies in the industry, any employer can call Incolink to organise a GAS for their workers on (03) 9668 3067.
Anyone who participates in the one-hour GAS is eligible to volunteer to complete the full day training and become a Bluehat.
Key responsibilities for Bluehats are:
- Look out for signs of stress in others
- To ask and listen
- To keep an open mind
- To keep conversations private
- To link people in need to service providers
- To ensure safety
- To practice self-care
When someone completes the Bluehats course they will be offered support by Incolink to assist them in their duties.
Bluehats are now active on sites in Victoria. For more information please visit incolink.org.au/bluehats or call Incolink Bluehats initiative on 03 9668 3031