A partnership between two major construction support businesses has raised $500,000 for mental health and suicide prevention work.

In just a few hours, Bunnings Trade and MATES in Construction sold out of their limited-edition hoodies, with funds going towards MATES initiatives for mental health and suicide prevention. This is the second year in a row that the partnership has successfully brought people together and educated the community about the importance of wellbeing. 



More than just clothes  

For the past two years, Bunnings Trade has been working with tradies and builders across Australia to support mental health and wellbeing. So far, they have raised $1 million in funds to donate to MATES in Construction. 

According to Chris Lockwood, MATES National CEO, the partnership has had a positive impact on tradies around the country.

“This collaboration and partnership has enabled MATES to engage directly with construction and trade workers, promoting awareness of mental health and suicide prevention. The proceeds from hoodie sales are essential for MATES to expand and offer support to the most vulnerable individuals in the industry.”

“We have genuinely appreciated collaborating with the Bunnings Trade team, engaging with customers at the Bunnings Trade Breakfast BBQs during the hoodie launch. The positive response and active interest from Bunnings Trade customers in learning more about MATES have been remarkable, cementing our commitment to enhancing the mental health and well-being of workers within the industry.”



MATES in Construction is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving mental health within the construction community. 

Sadly, construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident on the job. There are many contributing factors including the transient nature of the job, which runs on a project-to-project basis and can sometimes only last a few weeks. Similarly, workers often find it difficult to discuss their mental wellbeing with friends and family due to stigma and social values.

MATES works by training mental-health officers in construction workplaces to ensure everyone has access to quality support. They create on-site networks, and educate workers about the importance of looking after their mental health. They also offer a support line and case management to those who need help. There are several levels of training, from general awareness to applied suicide intervention skills training.


The Bunnings x MATES hoodie © Bunnings Trade


Rod Caust, General Manager of Bunnings Trade, says the community has responded enthusiastically to the partnership, getting behind the project.

“Every hoodie sold goes directly to supporting MATES and we’re grateful to our customers for their overwhelming support through purchasing hoodies, attending trade BBQs and having conversations with a mate. The work MATES do for mental health and suicide prevention plays a really important role for our industry, and we’re proud to play a small part in raising awareness and funds to support their crucial initiatives for our trade and construction community,” he says.

Selling the hoodies led to an additional $500,000 for suicide prevention efforts, which both companies believe will make a massive difference to those in need. 

To read about another mental health initiative supporting Aussie fishers, click here.

Featured image: Construction workers wearing the Bunnings x MATES hoodie © Bunnings Trade