It was just a coincidence, as I’ve just found out that today is World Suicide Prevention Day, but how fitting to hold our HALT “Save Your Bacon” Brekky this morning focusing on raising awareness of anxiety, depression and well-being in the tradie community. With Australian research showing that, compared to other industries, those in construction are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems it is important for us to talk about this problem and provide practical advice as to how tradies can look after themselves and their mates.
Jeremy Forbes, founder of HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) gave a heartfelt and really down to earth talk to the group of local tradies present. As they chowed down on expertly cooked egg and bacon rolls thanks to Shane and Frenchy from Lyons Construction, and freshly brewed coffee thanks to Ang and Alison from Divine Grind Coffee, the tradies learned some of the triggers for depression (including relationship breakups, financial stress, gambling addiction, substance abuse).
Jeremy then stepped the group through ways to start a conversation with a mate who they suspect may not be OK and who to seek help from:
- A GP (who may write you a Mental Health Plan and refer you to a Psychologist)
- Lifeline (13 11 14)
- Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636)
- Head Space 12 – 25 year olds (5222 6690)
- Blue Hats Incolink members (1300 000 129)
A really helpful piece of advice was not to stop seeking help if the first psychologist you see isn’t a good fit because it often takes a few go’s before finding the right one for you.
So if you suspect that one of your workmates is not OK:
- Find a time that is convenient for them to have a chat
- Go for a coffee / drink / walk to get away from workplace distractions
- Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them. E.g. “You seem less chatty than usual. Are you OK?”
- If they’re not OK, don’t judge them.
- Listen and encourage them to connect with appropriate support.
Thanks to all who braved the icy cold this morning to attend the Save Your Bacon Brekky…special mention of the Buckby Electrical Crew who turned out in force!
Thanks to HALT, FAGGS Mitre 10, and Divine Grind Coffee for their support of the event.