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Young tradies are taking their own lives
A DEADLY epidemic is devastating the young Tradies in Sydney workplaces and it is not Covid-19 or the flu.

The terrible new disease is suicide and the rate amongst young tradesmen is more than double that of other men - and it is getting worse.

CEO of TIACS Keri Stephenson said it was very concerning that those who work in trades and construction had some of the highest suicide rates in Australia amongst men.

TIACS, which stands for This Is A Conversation Starter, is a free and confidential chat, text and callback service providing early-intervention mental health support for Australia’s truckies, tradies, blue collar workers and those who care about them.

“Construction workers are at least six times more likely to die by suicide than by a workplace accident. In Australia every year we lose 190 construction workers to suicide. We have to do more to support our tradies in Australia,” Ms Stephenson said.

“To date, through the support of our partnerships with businesses such as TradeMutt, as a privately funded not-for-profit organisation we have supported over 12,000 clients, translating to over 10,000 hours of counselling and an incredible $2.15M worth of market services delivered to the Australian Blue collar community free of charge.”

And Trademutt is bringing smiles to the faces of employees- and starting conversations.

Founded by Daniel Allen and Edward Ross, 2022 Australian of the Year Qld finalists, TradeMutt is national social impact workwear brand that supports the health and well-being of tradies and other blue-collar workers across the country.

Daniel and Edward founded TradeMutt when Daniel lost a close friend to suicide in 2015. TradeMutt is described as an innovative social impact workwear brand designed to start conversations about mental health with eye-catching colorful shirt designs.

Freaky Friday

They created the concept ‘Funky Shirt Friday’ to give tradies a reason to wear their TradeMutt shirt’s to work, similar to what office workers do on casual work Fridays.

Looking at TradeMutt designs, they certainly are bold and striking and they’re real conversation starters. The colorful designs are already being worn by iconic companies such as BHP, Rio Tinto, the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Rail.

“Tradies struggle with mental health because there is a lot of pressure placed on them to work hard for long hours and perform physically demanding jobs often in harsh weather conditions,” Trademutt co-founder Edward Ross said.

“Over time, with a continual poor work and life balance, men start to feel burnt out and disconnected from their friends, their families and even themselves,” Mr Ross said.

“On top of this, they are also feeling the pressure of the follow-on effects of COVID-19 and all the issues that are impacting the building and construction industry such as supply chain issues, rising inflation and interest rates, and a labor shortage which is sending wages through the roof. Things are really tough for tradies at the moment.

“And 50% of TradeMutt’s profits are donated directly to TIACS, the free and confidential chat, text and callback service providing early-intervention mental health support for truckies, blue-collar workers and those who care about them.

“Blokes have a bit of a reputation for not talking about their problems but we are changing that,” Ross said.

“We are losing so many men due to them not speaking up and getting the support they deserve. The more people that know about TradeMutt and TIACS the better.

“We help on two levels, we get tradies talking to each other by wearing our funky shirts which starts a conversation, and then we include the details for TIACS on every shirt through a QR code so tradies can call for a confidential chat if they need someone to talk to, free and ongoing.

“Funky Shirt Fridays is a ritual that happens every week, no matter what. Just like casual Fridays at the office, we encourage tradies to wear a TradeMutt shirt on Fridays, and every other day if they want,” Mr Ross said.

“It’s a great way to turn the best day of the work week into the one day of the week where tradies can take ownership of their mental health and encourage meaningful conversations with those around them."

Initiatives like Funky Shirt Fridays were put in place to help men break the ice and just walk up to a workmate and use these crazy design shirts as an icebreaker to get a conversation going about any problems or pressure they might be feeling at work or at home.

“So, just by wearing a TradeMutt shirt on Funky Shirt Friday and inviting a conversation to start, you could be helping to save a life.”

Huge Range

TradeMutt has a huge range of workwear clothes for both men and women. They carry hi-vis workwear and polos and even casual clothes and accessories, underwear and footwear. To date, TradeMutt has helped more than 3000 tradies to gain access to free mental health support through TIACS and they have given more than $650,000 in mental health support to tradies.





Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Access News is a print and digital media publisher established over 15 years and based in Western Sydney, Australia. Our newspaper titles include the flagship publication, Western Sydney Express, which is a trusted source of information and for hundreds of thousands of decision makers, businesspeople and residents looking for insights into the people, projects, opportunities and networks that shape Australia's fastest growing region - Greater Western Sydney.