Tragedy behind tradies' bright idea for mental health
Two Brisbane tradies have come up with a bright idea to help raise awareness of mental illness in the construction industry.
Daniel Allen and Ed Ross have set up a social enterprise called Trademutt and designed a series of colourful work shirts to draw attention to the plight of Aussie tradesmen.
"Trademutt came about a couple of years ago after I lost one of my best mates to suicide in 2016, very unexpectedly," Daniel told A Current Affair.
"For us it highlighted how big of an issue mental health challenges are for men in general, and upon learning more about it we identified that it's actually the biggest issue in the trades and construction industry."
Statistics show suicide rates among Australian tradies are twice as high compared to any other male profession.
Construction workers are six to seven times more likely to die by suicide than workplace accidents.
Ed and Dan hope the loud shirts will encourage men to start talking more about their problems.
“When anyone sees one of our shirts we're hoping that that will spark a conversation with anyone and just bring down the barriers with people,” Ed said.
"It's time to be more preventative rather than last cause, so it's good for people to start opening up among mates and work colleagues.”
Five per cent of all profits from sales is going towards the "This is a Conversation Starter Movement", which takes place during Mental Health Week in October.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.