Time to listen

GALLERY: HALT Save Your Bacon breakfast

SITE supervisor Richard Thompson is calling on Bendigo tradies to actually listen to their co-workers when they're opening up about their problems.

"One of the most prohibitive things I've found on building sites is when men actually speak to each other about something and not listen to what the problem is," he said. 

"They might be talking about what happened on the weekend, one might say they had a blue with their wife or the kids are driving them nuts, and the other man will go, 'Yeah,that happened to me', and he'll talk about his problems.

"There's no communication, there's no support from the other person and listening to what the problem is and offering assistance.

"I've seen that time and time again on sites where there have been issues and the other person always has something bigger, worse, more disgusting - a more detrimental story, and it just pushes the other person down even further.

"Sometimes they just need to back off a bit and listen."

Mr Thompson was just one of the 250 tradies who attended Tuesday's HALT breakfast at Hume and Iser.

Many tradies said their employers had encouraged them to attend the event.

While the "freebies" - bacon and egg rolls, goodie bags and raffles - were a big attraction, they understood the important of the event.

Frank, who did not wish to use his surname, said being a tradie could be isolating and mental health was definitely an issue.

He said long hours, stress and financial pressures contributed to the issue.

"There's constant pressure," he said.

"So it's good to get everyone together at an event like this."

Scott, a carpenter, said many tradies were looking for work from week to week.

"Sometimes it can cause anxiety among local tradies," he said.

"It can also cause tension at home.

"It's good to get here and be among other tradies - a lot of the time you don't get the time to stand around and talk.

"You can get stuck in your own little box."

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