HALT launch is a success

ABOUT 100 tradies attended a Save Your Bacon Breakfast in Castlemaine on Tuesday morning.

The free event was the brainchild of HALT - Hope, Assistance, Local Tradies - and was designed to raise awareness about anxiety, depression and well-being in the tradie community.

HALT co-founder Jeremy Forbes said the Tonks hardware yard was the perfect location for the breakfast with volunteers cooking up a storm.

"I've been talking to young tradies and the main thing is that we want them to take bags and tell them what's in the bag," Mr Forbes said.

"This is the first step to planting the seed in their minds.

"This is the way to do it, in their own environment where they'll stand around and talk.

"This is where it's going to happen.

"This is where it's going to start."

Mr Forbes said a range of businesses had shown support for the initiative by donating goods and services.

"This has been about the community opening up its hearts and minds and coming together and donating," he said.

"I'd love every small town in Australia within a few years to be doing these sort of events and recognising their tradies."

Tradies made the most of free bacon and egg sandwiches, cakes and slices and coffees while event organisers handed out showbags containing information about various help services.

"We want you to build the link between beyondblue and Lifeline but also you can get help for nearly anything with regards to well-being at CHIRP in town," Mr Forbes told event participants.

"So please use it.

"I know myself, at trade school, I was never taught how to run my business properly so that's one of the big things - the financial side of businesses.

"So know there is help out there on a local level."

Mr Forbes recently co-founded HALT with Catherine Pilgrim.

"Catherine was the very, very first person who rang me up after a recent loss of life and said we should do something on an individual basis," Mr Forbes said.

"We decided to do something on a grand big scale, which is what I love.

"HALT is not a group of health professionals or mental health experts.

"We are members of the community who want to help in any way we can to support our community."

If you or someone you know needs help phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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