Media Release: Spotlight on mental health across the development industry

24 Oct 2019

, Media

UDIA Victoria Media Release

Designed by and for the development sector, the UDIA Victoria Mental Health Industry Leaders Lunch is addressing stress, anxiety, depression, suicide and general wellbeing.

“The construction, development and real estate industries are high risk professions for mental health conditions. We are still a male-dominated industry, so it’s important to bring members together to develop an action plan that’s responsive to the needs, attitudes and behaviours of the workforce,” said Danni Hunter, Victorian CEO of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).

“Everyone in our industry would agree there is a very high level of stress involved,” said Villawood Properties Executive Director Tony Johnson.

“A proportion of senior figures grew up in a time where the common attitude was that you kept details of your mental health to yourself.

“The industry also attracts a certain type of character – big personalities, who are ambitious and passionate. These can all be really positive characteristics, but the flip side is these are often the people who don’t switch off, which can lead to situations where they don’t recognise the impact that various forms of stress is having on them or even the people around them, both in the work setting and at home,” he said.

Last year an average of 6.3 men died by suicide every day across Australia. Men are much less likely to seek help for mental health conditions than women, and they are three times more likely to die by suicide then women.

“There can be a vast difference between the way a person is feeling and how they present themselves,” said Mr Johnson.

“UDIA Victoria has an important role to play in bringing the industry together; to build a strong and connected community that feels more comfortable and confident to approach their peers, share their struggles and offer support,” said Ms Hunter.

“We can’t shy away from the statistics. Not when there’s opportunity to reduce stigma, improve understanding and empower the sector to better support one another,” she said.

With proceeds going to the Monash Alfred Health Research Centre, the UDIA Mental Health and Wellbeing Lunch features a keynote presentation from The Hon Jeff Kennett AC, Chair of The Torch and Founder of Beyond Blue.

Speaking on the parallels between mental health in sport, business and leadership, and sharing how the sporting industry is better supporting elite athletes, the event features Deputy Director of Athletic Wellbeing and Engagement – Australian Institute of Sport, Matti Clements.

“Sitting across roles in both property and sport, I can see the difference in approach to the mental health of participants,” said CEO of Resimax Group, Olympic gold medal winner and former Captain of the Australian Olympic Athletics Team, Steve Hooker who will interview Ms Clements at the event.

“Matti has years of experience in setting up the infrastructure around mental health in sport. We can all benefit greatly from listening to her experiences as we set out to build a framework of mental health support for those in the property industry,” he said.

The UDIA Mental Health and Wellbeing Lunch, sponsored by Nostra Homes and Villawood Properties, will be held on 14 November 2019 in Melbourne

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Hyatt Nidam

Engagement and Communications Manager, UDIA Victoria


T: 03 9832 9600

M: 0478 415 105