MAACG Medical is proud to announce that several of our clinics are “HALT Friendly Clinics”. HALT stands for Hope Assistance Local Tradies.
HALT aims to remind tradies they are valued by their community, and direct them to support services, both local and national, should they need them. HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) works in conjunction with communities to host ‘SAVE YOUR BACON’ brekkies.
We caught up with Mick Simmons from HALT and asked him some questions about the mental health challenges faced by tradies and what HALT is doing to help.
How do we break down the stigma associated with Mental Health for tradies?
At HALT, we believe in openly talking about what triggers mental health issues. We want to break down the stigma associated with tradies talking about their mental health struggles and help them to do something about it. We promote talking to your mates openly about how you are feeling and about getting and giving moral support. We highly recommend visiting a GP for professional support as well as Psychologists. We want tradies to talk to other tradies about how they are feeling and get support from their mates. It’s okay not to feel 100 % all the time and it’s okay to be vulnerable.
How can GPs at medical clinics like MAACG Medical support tradies?
“We want to remove any reason for tradies to say no to going to the doctors.”
At HALT, we recommend visiting a GP as an important first step to looking after yourself. We want to ensure that tradies will also be well supported when they visit the GPs. We want to remove any reason for tradies to say no to going to the doctors. It is necessary to make it as user friendly as possible. We need GP clinics to be able to see the tradies quickly and to understand that this may be someone who has lived with years of depression, finally taking the first steps to a new life. Clinics like MAACG have committed to supporting tradies with their mental health issues and this gives us the confidence to recommend MAACG clinics at our HALT events and on our webpage.
What do you think are some of the biggest roadblocks that prevent tradies from seeking help?
Lots of men have found it difficult to open up about their mental health struggles. There is a stigma attached to being vulnerable. Having and admitting to having mental health struggles is often seen to be a sign of weakness. For example, as a man, I thought that I could beat my mental health struggle by doing nothing and holding it all in. We are very good at not talking about it with friends and family or reaching out for support from GPs or Psychologists. This has created multiple generations of tradies that struggle on their own with anxiety, depression and this can lead to suicide.
How is HALT helping?
“HALT has a focus on suicide prevention, providing tradies and apprentices with the tools to be able to start having conversations about mental health and wellbeing.”
HALT is a national grass-roots suicide prevention charity, founded in 2013. We host ‘Save Your Bacon’ events for tradies and apprentices across Australia to raise awareness of mental health issues. HALT has a focus on suicide prevention, providing tradies and apprentices with the tools to be able to start having conversations about mental health and wellbeing. We encourage tradies and apprentices to help out their mates if they are struggling and we educate them on how and where they can get support if they need it.
How can we arrange a HALT event?
HALT events can be organised by contacting HALT through the website at halt.org.au or emailing Mick at firstname.lastname@example.org. We come to your worksite when it best suits you. This can be virtually with Zoom or Google Teams, in-person at your toolbox, onsite or at the worksite; before or after work. We are federally funded, and our services are free. Put on a BBQ and let us talk to your team. The talk is non-gender-specific and runs for about 20 minutes.
Watch the video below to learn more about HALT and the great work they do.