August is Tradies National Health Month where Australians are raising awareness of the risks posed to those who work in trade occupations. Australia’s trade industry have among the highest health and safety issues of any sector, this also includes mental health. Mental health in the trade industry is very important as those working as a tradie have exactly the same emotions, life-goals, stressors, fears and needs as most of us. Their jobs are challenging, both physically and mentally - early morning starts, laborious, risky, and require strong attention to detail. There is no surprise that they are at risk of stress, burnout and potentially mental illness.
As majority of tradies are male, most will always put on a tough exterior which can make any stressors, anxieties or mental health issues go unnoticed. However, behind the tough look, there is a person who experiences the same personal and professional struggles as anyone does. Specifically, many tradies can feel that pressure on men to work hard and support their family, along with work pressures, getting things done, and then, putting emotional issues in the mix, can get a bit much for anyone! This is why recognising and supporting tradies with their mental health is just as important as their physical health.
8 things to look out for:
Anger: Getting frustrated and angry more often than usual? Lashing out at the smallest things? Taking things to heart that normally wouldn't be a bother?
Sadness: Appearing upset or down most of the time? Not enjoying things once did? Having negative views on things?
Lack of sleep: Coming to work constantly tired? Not being able to fall asleep most nights? Complaining often about being tired?
Concentration difficulties: Inability to concentrate? Motivation low to get things done? Working at a slower pace than usual?
Separation: Has there been a separation in the family or relationship? Has this had a very negative impact on daily life?
Drinking excessively: Has drinking increased to the point it’s taking a toll on functioning?
Work absence: Are days off or sick days increasing?
Financial pressure: Has there been financial pressure lately? Any debts? or changes in circumstances?
These are all things to look out for that can create risk of mental illness. The important thing to remember is, speaking to someone - whether a colleague, a friend, a spouse, or a family member, is very important in reducing this risk.
At Melbourne Wellbeing Group, we ensure all our clients receive the support they need. We want to remove the stigma of mental health and increase mental wellbeing and quality of life. If you believe you or a loved one need support, then give us a call to make an appointment with one of our Psychologists.