News & Events

Discover how HALT is helping plumbers

If you attended World Plumbing Day at PICAC, you would have seen Jeremy Forbes from HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies), speaking about how they connect tradies with support services that can help them with issues such as anxiety, depression and suicide.

We believe this is such a critical issue in construction and trade industries including plumbing, so we wanted to find out more.

We interviewed Jeremy and have also invited him to speak out our November Business Breakfast later in the year which is themed around OHS issues.

Tell us about HALT. What is its aim and how did it get started?

In 2013 a small rural town in Victoria was rocked by the suicide of well known and much loved tradie. The ripple effect was huge and people in the town asked themselves, “What can we do to support our mates, our families and our partners in the trade industry who just aren’t coping?”. From that conversation began a community movement to support men and women in trade occupations.

HALT stands for “Hope Assistance Local Tradies”. HALT is about early intervention and prevention, we want to break through the macho tradie culture so that it’s ok to talk about these issues. Our aim is to remind tradies they are valued by their community. We provide a connection between tradies and the services that can help them. Our role is to help spread information that is already available.

How do you reach out to tradies and their communities to get this information out there?

We work in conjunction with concerned communities to host ‘SAVE YOUR BACON’ Brekky events which are supported through the generosity of local companies and individuals.

We know that social connection is always good for our mental health but it is the HALT goody bags that we give out at the events that carry the important messages to take home. Each bag contains info on well-being, suicide prevention, how to manage stress, depression and anxiety, and where to go when you or a mate needs help.  Local health services as well as bigger national organisations all contribute information.

What sort of impact have you seen since HALT got started?

What we have seen with the communities we have worked with is the awareness raising and acknowledgement in the community that these type of issues exist. With that understanding conversations can get started and the HALT brekky events provides the environment for that to happen.

How does someone find out when there is a Save Your Bacon Brekky event in their area?

All of our upcoming events are listed on our Facebook page and on our website - www.thehaltbrekky.com.

Local hardware stores also send our invites to their account holders and we’ve got the TAFE’s involved as well to help promote the events.

If there are any businesses that would like to get involved by hosting an event, or donating some time I’d love to hear from them and can be contacted via the website.

Finally, what one piece of advice would you give an apprentice just starting out in the industry?

Don’t let the pressure and stress build up. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Arm yourself with the right tools to help with your mental and financial wellbeing. Talk to your doctor or ask your employer for advice, information and help. If you’re not comfortable asking your doctor or boss, the local and national support services are 100% confidential.

If you or someone you know needs help or advice about how to deal with stress, depression, anxiety or life’s challenges, please get in touch with one of the free and confidential services below.

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636

Headspace – 1800 650 890