Why talking about Mental Health in the trades industry is so important

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Why talking about Mental Health in the trades industry is so important

Being a tradie is a physically demanding job. It’s normal for tradies to try and keep in shape and of course discuss physical health and fitness. Some might get into a weights or fitness competition at the local gym. But is mental health discussed as much as it should be? We think it should be discussed more often amongst tradies.

Showing emotions and discussing struggles is still not commonplace within the trades community unfortunately. But, discussing these struggles is just as important as staying fit in the gym. Looking after your mental and physical health is key to not only enjoying your life outside of work and feeling overall happier, but also for doing your job well.

Why is it important to talk about mental health in the trades industry?

Here are some key statistics:

  • Tradies/construction workers and ‘blue collar’ careers, have some of the highest suicide rate in Australia amongst men.
  • One in six of us will experience mental health issues such as anxiety, stress and depression at some point in our lives.

Why would tradies struggle with mental health?

For the qualified tradesperson, there can be a lot of pressure placed on managers and supervisors to work hard. Long hours, physically demanding tasks in often unforgiving weather conditions can leave tradesmen feeling burnt out and disconnected from friends, family and themselves. Thus, resulting in a poor work/life balance.

For apprentices, sometimes combining the intense learning at TAFE with learning on the job, a bunch of new workmates and some long hours, it can all feel a bit much.

So what are the consequences if we don’t discuss our mental health problems?

Ignoring and not dealing with mental health issues can manifest itself in many ways. Including relationship breakdowns, bad financial decisions, alcohol and drug abuse, just to name a few. ‘Sucking it up’ because it’s the manly thing to do can lead men to become withdrawn, angry, anxious and depressed.

What you can do if you’re struggling with your mental health and how you can help others:

Talk to someone:

Easier said than done when you feel low. Talk to a workmate or a trusted friend. If you’re ready, talk to a professional. It’s so important to get it off your chest and not bottle up your concerns.

If you notice a mate at work who might be struggling, find the time to ask them about how they’re feeling and if everything is ok. Swap the “you’ll be right mate” for “want to have a quick chat?” or “Is everything ok? I’ve noticed you’ve been struggling a bit.”

Educate yourself:

Take note and be aware of mental health conditions, warning signs, symptoms and available support services can be extremely beneficial, for you and your work mates.

Getting help and support early is the best thing you can do.


Mens Line Australia – 1300 78 99 78

Mates in Construction – 1300 642 111

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636


HALT  (Hope Assistance Local Tradies)– https://thehaltbrekky.com/

Incolink Blue Hats Suicide Prevention Initiative – https://www.incolink.org.au/wellbeing-support-services/bluehats-suicide-prevention/

Mates in Construction – http://matesinconstruction.org.au