A new social media animation was launched this month in a bid to remind tradies about the importance of mental health and looking out for their mates.
Queensland Health Chief Psychiatrist, Dr John Reilly, said this National Tradie Health month we want to remind Queensland tradies to look after themselves and look out for their mates.
“We wanted to create something that acted as a conversation starter for Queensland tradies on mental health,” Dr Reilly said.
“Sadly, some people living with mental illness battle discrimination from friends, family, employers and the community and often, the isolation can be more disabling than the mental illness itself.
“The animation aims to highlight that someone you know, even someone on the same worksite, is going through something similar and you do not have to battle alone.
“It’s also about letting your mates know that you’ve got their back if they need you.”
Dr Reilly said we know almost one in two Australians will experience a mental health illness at some point in their lives with about one in five experiencing a mental illness in any given year.
“Look out for your mates, if you notice changes in someone’s thoughts, mood or behaviour – perhaps they’ve been angry, sad, stressed or irritable – it could be a warning sign that something is wrong,” Dr Reilly said.
“People who have mental health problems can find it difficult talk about their situation.
“Be sensitive to changes you notice in them, and consider asking them at smoko if they have also noticed any changes. Or offer to have a chat over a bikkie and a cuppa.”
Dr Reilly said everyone could play a role in breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness, which remained a significant barrier preventing people from managing their own mental wellbeing.
“Research shows the best way to challenge this stigma is through open and honest conversations, taking the time to listen and adjusting our perspective,” Dr Reilly said.
“The way we behave around our family, friends and colleagues living with mental health problems can have a big impact on their lives and recovery.
“If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, you can seek help from Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 13 Health on 13 43 25 84. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).”