AccessEAP advocates for better mental health in trade industries
The rate of suicide among men in the trades industry, especially lower-skilled employees, is approximately double that of the general male working population.
It’s this trend that motivated Australian non-for-profit AccessEAP launch Toolbox Talks. These sessions focus on increasing awareness of mental health issues and helping men to understand that at some point most people need help and that help is available.
AccessEAP relationship management director Eleni van Delft has already provided tailored toolbox talks to organisations in the manufacturing, mining and construction industries and is amazed by the immediate effect it has had on participants.
“Often in male dominated industries, the macho mentality still exists where men are afraid to show weakness, sadness or vulnerability,” says Eleni.
“If men don’t feel like they can open up, it can have a detrimental effect on their mental wellbeing.”
With a recent focus on promoting a healthy body and healthy mind, Toolbox Talks helps build awareness in some of the more male orientated workplaces where mental health issues are prominent.
“Talking about problems and taking action are proven ways for male tradies to stay mentally healthy, but it’s still difficult to get them to take that all important first step,” explains AccessEAP clinical services director Marcela Slepica.
Managers and employees need to be educated on the behaviours that may indicate a colleague is going through a tough time and learn ways to encourage them to seek help if there is concern for their welfare.
AccessEAP offers some tips to help men reach out in times of need:
- Seeking help is positive for your mental health. It is not a sign of weakness;
- The best health is achieved with looking after both your physical and mental health;
- Make self-care a priority and set goals for sleep, exercise and “me” time;
- Maintain social contact and keep in touch with friends and family; and,
- Equip yourself with the tools and strategies you need to cope with challenging life events. Start with your EAP and a confidential appointment.
For more information please visit www.accesseap.com.au