Helping mates aim of city workshop


REDUCING the rates of suicide and making sure men are getting the help they need, are some of the reasons an Invercargill woman has organised a workshop in the city.

Mates helping Mates event organiser Wendy Hansen said the motivation for organising the workshop came after attending a similar course and also noticing what was happening in the community, with the impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental health.

“Because of Covid, because of what I was seeing was happening amongst our staff with Covid and from a personal experience with the mental health system.”

She had kept in touch with the people who had delivered a Mates in Construction course she had attended and decided it was something she would like to bring to Invercargill.

The Mates programme recognises and raises awareness of the contributing factors to suicide as well as providing support for people within the construction industry.

However, the workshop next week would be open to anyone.

“For me, it’s about getting men talking, making them aware. Having a resource that friends and family are aware of to help and just people talking more because it’s huge out there.”

At the time of the interview, Mrs Hansen noted there had been three suicides in Invercargill in the past week.

She said while some of the themes in the course would relate to the construction industry, anyone was welcome to attend the event.

“It’s an open door,” she said.

“If it’s a door that opens up something for people to talk more about it or to bring others, or to learn about the service to pass it on to someone in the construction industry.

“If we can fill it with 200 people and we can save one person out of that, then it’s worth it.”

Guidelines would also be given as to how to react if someone came to you saying they were having problems and what you could do for them, she said.

  • Mates Helping Mates free workshop, 4.30pm-5.30pm, Star Rugby Club, Wednesday, April 21. Please RSVP by Monday, April 19, to