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OzHelp Life Skills Toolbox for construction apprentices receives national accreditation

OzHelp’s Life Skills Toolbox: A Suicide prevention program for apprentices in the building and construction industry, is now a Suicide Prevention Australia accredited program.

OzHelp developed the program in response to the increased risk of suicide for construction apprentices, who experience higher suicide rates than other workers.

Speaking at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Adelaide this week, OzHelp’s Carolyn Walsh said a 2020 survey of Queensland construction apprentices revealed nearly one third of participants reported having experienced thoughts of suicide within a 12-month period compared to 3.3% in the general Australian population.

The survey (Ross, Wardhani & Kõlves) revealed that apprentices are “further at risk of experiencing workplace bullying, increased psychological distress, poorer quality of life and high exposure to suicidal behaviours from others.”

The Life Skills Toolbox assists participants with identifying resources and building the skills needed to navigate life’s challenges while also addressing psychosocial risk factors for suicide. 

The six-module program covers topics such as building resilience, workplace culture and communication, financial health, physical and mental health, wellbeing, alcohol and other drugs, gambling and how to help a mate who is doing it tough. Each module takes three hours to complete and is in a multi-media format.

The program has undergone an internal review, incorporating feedback from lived experience and industry stakeholders as new content is integrated.

OzHelp told the National Suicide Prevention Conference that 41 Life Skills Toolbox sessions were delivered to 510 participants between July 2022 and June 2023.

“Early evaluation data has revealed positive trends with notable improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours across five modules piloted with the revised content,” OzHelp reported.

The Life Skills Toolbox also received a 2024 ACT LiFE Award from Suicide Prevention Australia in the Priority Populations category.

The OzHelp Foundation is based in the ACT; however the Life Skills Toolbox is a national program, facilitated by qualified trainers to participants with a skills-based focus.

Other OzHelp programs that Suicide Prevention Australia has also accredited include:

  • Truckies Tune Up
  • Tradie Tune Up
  • Workplace Tune Up
  • Wellbeing Empowerment Program
  • Peer Supporter Training
  • Counselling and Wellbeing Support




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