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Abigroup joins forces with beyondblue to tackle depression in the construction industry

16 February 2010

Abigroup has joined forces with leading depression awareness organisation beyondblue to launch a major initiative to raise awareness of depression in the construction industry.

At a ceremony in Abigroup’s Melbourne office today (Tuesday) Abigroup’s Managing Director David Jurd and beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett signed an agreement to work together to tackle the problem.

As a first step the company is contributing $100,000 to the partnership and development of an educational DVD about depression in the construction industry.

Abigroup Managing Director David Jurd said, “Construction work can be tough on workers - the hours are long and sites are often remote from home, making the link with family difficult.

“Construction is still a male dominated industry and studies show that men are at a greater risk of their depression going unrecognised and untreated than women: with less than half of those experiencing depression seeking help.

“That’s why Abigroup is supporting this important initiative. By raising awareness of the problem of depression in the construction industry we’re aiming to get more workers to seek help early on and avoid getting trapped in a downward spiral.”

beyondblue CEO Leonie Young added, “We know that depression affects around one million Australians every year. People often struggle to acknowledge the problem and try to deal with it alone. Depression is an illness and not a weakness. Effective treatments are available and most people recover.  

“We hope this partnership will encourage people working in the construction industry to notice the signs and symptoms of depression in themselves, their mates and loved ones and encourage them to get help sooner rather than later.”

The DVD will be produced over the winter months and launched in October with screenings at Abigroup construction sites throughout Australia.

Information on depression in the workplace and promotional material on available services will also be circulated throughout the construction industry and in November Abigroup will organise a “Blue Day” education and awareness campaign to coincide with company Movember activities.

Abigroup’s support for beyondblue forms part of the company’s sustainability program – Ability. As part of this program Abigroup plays an active role in the community through corporate giving activities.    

Find out more about beyondblue.


beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett & Abigroup Managing Director David Jurd before signing the agreement


L to R Back row: Hans Weiss, Kathleen Kelly, Ben Quinlan,
Paul Kirby, Lorien Dalmau. Front row: Sarah Marshall,
Jeff Kennett, David Jurd, Don Hayward

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