The founder of a mental health organisation that aims to help tradespeople with their wellbeing has put a call out to Dubbo tradies to take part in a special challenge.
Bruno Efoti is the founder of Tradies In Sight, and just recently created the 'Tools up for tradies challenge'.
Mr Efoti worked in the construction industry as a carpenter for 20 years and saw first-hand the effects of suicide and depression among tradies.
Realising that there was no specific support network for regional tradespeople, two years ago he decided to focus his efforts on Tradies In Sight to help men in need.
The challenge is simple, Mr Efoti wants the Dubbo tradie community to stand with him in pushing the message that it is okay to open up and start a conversation around mental health.
Tradies are being encouraged to take a photo with their colleagues at work standing together, to support the cause.
Mr Efoti said since the start of COVID-19, depression and anxiety has only increased, which is one of the reasons why he decided to create the challenge.
"I want tradies and men to all stand together in this and take responsibility of their own mental health but also their mates mental health," he said.
According to the 2018 Australian Bureau of Statistics, by June, 30, 2018 there were 907 construction businesses within the Dubbo Local Government Area.
There were 3046 registered deaths of people who died by suicide in Australia in 2018. It is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-44 in Australia.
Mr Efoti grew up in Tonga before moving to Australia at 21 years of age, where he started his trade.
Immediately he noticed the difference between the two cultures when it came to talking about mental health, explaining that Tongan's are more open to speaking about their wellbeing than some Australian's.
"Seeing a lot of suicide in my time over the years made me question the way we did things in Australia," he said.
"I was trying to put my finger on how to help the Aussie male actually express themselves a little bit better... I decided to we had to do something because the suicide rate was getting higher and higher."
Mr Efoti gave up his trade to study counselling to allow him the right tools needed to support men, which was how Tradies In Sight was founded.
The organisation focuses on preventive measure, so tradies are given the proper support and education to know how and when to reach out before things become dire.
He runs various community events within the Dubbo LGA for tradies where they talk about their health and wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment.
If you would like to find out more visit tradiesinsight.support
To take part in the 'Tools up for tradies challenge', search for Tradies In Sight on Facebook, where you can upload your photo.
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