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Wellbeing

Men’s mental health week: Why tradies need support

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Earlier this month marked the globally recognised Men’s Health Week. With this in mind, it’s important to recognise one of the most at-risk groups: tradies.

Blue-collar mental health support service TIACS noted that tradie suicide rates are at an all-time high, and calls for help from apprentices have increased by 600 per cent.

TIACS said that tradies are at high risk for mental health challenges, caused in part by the culture and the potential for loneliness.

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“Tradies are doing it tough. Building sites and manufacturing environments are busy, loud places where people don’t do a lot of one-on-one talking. They can also be very lonely and isolating places. Yet, these work environments can be places where people are struggling and may not have anyone to talk with,” said TIACS head of partnerships Jason Banks.

“Tradies face unique issues and value being able to seek help from a support service that understands the challenges they are facing.”

TIACS provides counselling services via phone and text, five days a week from 8am to 10pm. They’re confidential, and each time somebody calls, they are assigned the same counsellor.

Standing for This Is A Conversation Starter, TIACS celebrated its third anniversary in June and is excited to continue growing and spreading awareness.

“TIACS is now one of the fastest-growing support services for the tradie, truckie, rural and blue-collar sectors. Our mental health counselling service is absolutely free for workers and the people that care about them,” said Mr Banks.

“Every month, demand for our service grows as blue-collar workers across the country struggle with the impact of business failures, relationship breakdowns, health challenges and workplace issues.”

“In three years, we have achieved a lot and supported many people. Based on the rise in the number of people contacting us, we have much more to do,” he explained.

As many know, men are more likely to go untreated for mental health issues due to social constructs. Breaking down these barriers is important, and services like TIACS that encourage men to speak up are a great way to start.

“Men make up the majority of all callers. Tradies are concerned about a broad range of issues, but some of the key themes include the financial impact of job and business losses and relationship issues,” Mr Banks said.

“Our priority is to continue to provide a quality, relatable service and support the increasing demand for TIACS’ services. It is hard to believe what we have achieved in three years, and we are incredibly proud but also humbled by the extraordinary support we have received. The industry is really getting behind us to support the mental wellbeing of employees.”

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.