The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of good mental health. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability and people with severe mental health conditions are at risk of dying prematurely due to preventable physical conditions. While many mental health conditions can be avoided, they are also effectively treated with increased awareness of causes, symptoms and preventative measures.

The Murray & Roberts Group has partnered with a number of organisations to make mental health a priority among its employees.

Clough works with MATES in Construction and RUC Mining with MATES in Mining. MATES in Construction was established in 2008 in response to findings that suicide rates in the Australian construction and mining sectors were higher than the average for Australian men, with rates among young men in the industry up to 2.4 times higher. The MATES programme is based on the simple idea that mental health is everyone’s business and if the sector is to improve on the mental health of its employees then it cannot be left only to health professionals, everyone must play their part. MATES achieves its purpose through a number of education and awareness programmes, which Clough and RUC Cementation Mining implement and promote across their sites.

In South Africa, employees have access to a 24-hour medical and counselling contact centre with trained professionals providing a confidential and free service to employees and their families.

Says Thokozani Mdluli, Murray & Roberts Group Risk and Health, Safety and Environment Director, “Creating awareness of mental health and removing the stigma that often surrounds it is a priority for the Group, especially in light of the additional stressors that the pandemic has placed on us.”

For confidential advice and support, Murray & Roberts South African employees can contact the Philisa Care contact centre on 0800 212 772, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.