MATES In Construction NZ, the charity set up to aid mental wellness and prevent suicides, set up a free online Smoko Room to bring those in the building and construction industry together for a chat and help them cope with anxiety, stress and worries amid the uncertainty of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Anyone can go join online via the Zoom online meetings platform from 10:30am on Wednesday 1 April, and then run daily for one hour each day Monday-Friday. Each session only copes with five people at a time, with the ability to set up more than one smoko room per day if needed.
To sign up, visit the MATES In Construction NZ website www.mates.net.nz and register online. You will be asked to fill in four details – name, email, phone, occupation – and then press ‘Send’.
You will receive a phone call from one of the MATES Field Officers to confirm your registration, check in on their wellness and offer a one-on-one session if necessary.
You will also get sent a link to join the Zoom meeting, so the only thing they will need is internet on their phones or computer.
“We are aware of how men and women in our industry may be feeling right now, and we are keen to help them,” says Victoria McArthur, CEO of MATES In Construction NZ.
“We know that guys who work on construction sites six days a week are working with their mates, but all of a sudden they have been thrown into a situation at home with no mates around them; a very different environment with its own pressures.”
McArthur adds that the Smoko Room participants will find the atmosphere relaxing.
“We will always have two facilitators in the ‘room’, which will allow five other participants. If anything occurs in the room, MATES people can contact the person direct, and are able to pass on information to the emergency services if needed.”
Other services include a helpline 0800 111 315 – with the MATES team ready to pick up calls every day 24/7, thanks to an increase in the number of available lines
And you can text MATES for free on 5353 and they will message you straight back.
How to download and install Zoom: Click on www.Zoom.us; click ‘Sign up for free’; put in the email address you will most easily receive an email into; click ‘Sign Up’.
Zoom will then send you an email – open it and click to confirm that you are up and running.
Then, MATES will send you a Zoom link via email for your session. All you need to do is click on the link to open up the meeting. Follow any prompts that come up. Select if you would like to connect audio and/or video and click ‘join’