HALT will hold its first Partners of Tradies Night to raise awareness about mental health

AWARENESS: Co-founder Jeremy Forbes created HALT to raise awareness about mental health in the community. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
AWARENESS: Co-founder Jeremy Forbes created HALT to raise awareness about mental health in the community. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Hope Assistance Local Tradies is holding its first Partners of Tradies Night at the Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo.

Co-founder Jeremy Forbes said the night was an opportunity for the wives, girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends to find out about the current services that assist with mental health.

“I was talking to some wives of tradies in Castlemaine and they weren't sure of the local and national support services that were out there and how to access them,” Mr Forbes said.

“So far we’ve had two nights in Castlemaine and they’ve been very well attended and we’ve been lucky to receive funding through the Westpac Foundation Community Grants to hold them in Bendigo, Ballarat and Swan Hill.

“Come along and hear what services are out there and what it’s like to access them, what happens and how to do it.”

Mr Forbes founded HALT with Catherine Pilgrim in 2013 to raise awareness about mental health after the suicide of a tradie in a regional community.

“I had lived the life of a tradie for 20 years, so I had existed in the culture where traditionally men don’t talk,” he said.

“There’s still the stigma attached to mental health and guys don’t want to admit there is something wrong, so they choose to mask it.”

Partners of tradies coordinator Lauren Randle said the aim of the event was to talk to anyone that knew someone that had experienced mental health issues and wanted to find out about the services available.

“We create an atmosphere that’s comfortable, we bring in speakers from local services and I will talk about being a partner and some of the associated stresses that can be brought home,” Ms Randle said.

“Prevention is the best way to go about it, start the conversations about mental health to try and break down the stigma which is still pretty full on.”

HALT’s Partners of Tradies Night will be held in the Federation Room at the Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo on Wednesday March 14 from 7-9.30pm.

It’s a free event with a range of speakers, finger food, light refreshments, raffle prizes with drinks at bar prices.

If you or somebody you know is thinking about self-harm contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit https://www.lifeline.org.au/.