Response to the Productivity Commission’s 2019 Draft Report on Mental Health

Summary

The incidence of mental ill-health is recognised to be a significant national problem in Australia, prompting a comprehensive inquiry by the Australian Government Productivity Commission. The draft report from this inquiry was published in October 2019. The draft report was prepared for further consultation and input.

The project involved submitting a response to the Productivity Commission’s report focusing specifically on mental health in construction.

This paper discusses the issue of mental health in the construction industry. It combines evidence collected from two sources:

  • a preliminary review of previous published research relating to work and mental health, including published research undertaken in the construction industry, and
  • data collected from nine construction industry leaders representing construction contracting organisations and public sector client organisations in New South Wales and Victoria.

The paper briefly considers the relationship between work and mental health before presenting evidence pertaining to the mental health experiences of the construction industry’s workforce. The paper identifies characteristics of the construction industry’s structures, processes and ways of working that present particular challenges for the mental health of construction workers, including those in manual/non-managerial and managerial/professional roles. The paper then calls for targeted programs and interventions to improve construction industry workers’ mental health focused on system-level reform and cultural transformation.

Team

  • Helen Lingard
  • James Harley

Partners

  • Members of the Construction Industry Culture Taskforce (CICT)

Publications

Submission: RMIT CICT Productivity Submission

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.