The OzHelp Foundation Ltd (OzHelp) was established in 2001 after David O’Bryan, a young building apprentice from Canberra, took his own life. That same year, three others who were connected to the ACT building and construction industry died by suicide within a three-month period.
These events brought together David’s parents Loraine and Lee O’Bryan, along with representatives from the Master Builders Association (MBA) ACT and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union ACT Branch (CFMEU) who sought action to address the wellbeing and care of industry apprentices. The collaboration between David’s family, the CFMEU, the MBA and the ACT Government was instrumental in the formation of OzHelp.
The MBA and the CFMEU are the Founding Members of OzHelp and have actively and continuously supported and promoted the objectives and purpose of OzHelp since its inception.
With the ongoing support of the ACT Government, the Federal Government and other state and territory Governments, leading employers and through collaboration with other like-minded organisations and researchers, OzHelp has continued to develop and improve its preventative mental health services and delivery.
In the many years since its establishment, OzHelp has expanded its reach and impact beyond the ACT and surrounding areas. The organisation now delivers evidence-based suicide prevention, physical and mental health workplace training and support programs to thousands of people within multiple industries across Australia.
Our core work has always been focussed on reaching men in hard to reach industries such as mining and construction, and being present in rural and regional communities that have fewer services health and wellbeing services available. Our program delivery has expanded and been adapted over time, to reflect the true diversity of all types of workplaces
The demand for our work has continued to increase considerably over time, and our organisation now delivers programs and services to more than 30,000 people in workplaces right around Australia each year.
Our physical and mental health screening and training programs vary in duration, and are now available in multiple delivery modes including online. OzHelp programs increase physical and mental health literacy and help-seeking behaviours, and improve the resilience of individuals to access support for themselves and their colleagues.
Importantly, we also provide follow up support for participants where required. Our programs are scalable, accessible to any workplace or community nationally and are cost effective.
The team at OzHelp continue to strive towards improving the mental health and wellbeing of people in the workforce and the wider community. Every workplace can play a role in reducing the incidences of suicide in Australia.
OzHelp Foundation is a Public Benevolent Institution and is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). All donations received over $2.00 are fully tax deductible.