Lengthy lockdown restrictions have been taking a toll on Victorians and grass-roots suicide prevention charity Hope Assistance Local Tradies wants to reach out more than ever.
HALT, best known throughout Australia for its Save Your Bacon brekkies, information sessions and other events for tradespeople, is finding innovative ways to get the message to those that need it most.
Founder and chief executive Jeremy Forbes says HALT North West Melbourne understands how challenging these times are for all.
“More than ever we need to be aware of our mental health and the things we need to support our wellbeing,” he says.
“COVID-19 has presented our communities with some unique and interesting challenges, which many may be struggling with. But there is plenty of support out there for people and we want to make sure people are accessing it.”
The charity is committed to reducing the stigma associated with anxiety and depression and encourage everyone to seek help if needed.
Jeremy says, with lockdown regulations across Melbourne, it’s important to check in with family, mates, colleagues and neighbours.
HALT supports workplaces, sporting clubs, apprentices and community groups to have tough conversations.
“We give people the tools to support their mate, whoever that is, to seek support and get the help they might need during this tough time,” Jeremy says.
In 2019, HALT launched the HALT-Friendly Clinic program in Victoria – the first of its kind.
The program links blue-collar workers with GP and psychologist clinics that have a specific interest in suicide-prevention and men’s health.
Two project workers look after the North West region of Victoria.
Funded by the federal government, the workers offer free online events on the Zoom platform, video seminars and resources to local trades businesses.
HALT SERVICES PROVIDED (free of charge):
Live online event – Specifically catered to the needs of your business, club or organisation for up to 100 people. Events are usually 10-30 minutes. The Zoom platform allows everyone to be part of the conversation. BYO brekky or snacks and learn more about how to support your own mental health and also support others.
Videos – Get vital information out to your team about how they can support their mental health and wellbeing during this time with a tailored video package. Videos can be emailed out to all members of your workplace, club or organisation to be watched at their leisure.
Resource packs – HALT can post you some relevant resources and information about support services that can assist you, your business, your sports club or other group.