HALT brekkie in Castlemaine a success: Photos

TRADIES upon tradies turned out for the second annual Save Your Bacon breakfast at Castlemaine.

More than 80 people registered for the event, put on by HALT, which strives to promote awareness of mental health in the trades community. 

HALT or Hope, Assistance, Local Tradies, co-founder Jeremy Forbes said he was thrilled with the turnout of people at the breakfast at Tonks Hardware on Wednesday.  

"The first year it was a new initiative, everyone was excited - the second year can be difficult," he said. 

"But this year we have smashed it - we had about twice as many as last year."

HALT was designed to raise awareness about anxiety, depression and well-being in the trades community and was formed last year in response to the impact of suicides in the Mount Alexander Shire.

Mr Forbes said there were many new faces at the breakfast - a sign HALT's message was being heard. 

"Ones that said they couldn't make it last year because they were working out of town were actually here this year," he said.

"(Some have) brought their whole workforce. 

"For a building owner to bring his workers and lose an hour of work is huge and is a testament to the fact the culture needs to change and there is that prevention and awareness."

Tradesmen Kris Walter and Jordan Gilboy said they thought the idea behind the breakfast was terrific. 

"I think it's good to raise awareness of (mental health)," Mr Gilboy said. 

"It's important."

David Anderson brought along his team of tradesmen for the breakfast and said it was a wonderful idea.

"There are too many people that don't look after their mental health," he said. 

"(The breakfast) promotes talking about it."

HALT has partnered with Bendigo Community Health Services and Mr Forbes said there were plans to expand throughout regional Victoria and interstate. He said he hoped to take the organisation national in five years. 

"I firmly believe you have to have long term goals but still have a pragmatic, realistic approach about them," he said. 

"I know it's hard work but if I didn't have that long term goal I wouldn't be here now."


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