Tradies in Victoria will have more services to assist them in improving their mental health, thanks to the Morrison Government.
The Liberal National Government will invest $2 million through the North Western Melbourne and South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Networks (NWMPHN and SEMPHN) to fund two Hope Assistance Local Tradies (HALT) suicide prevention community workers over the next four years.
The SEMPHN encompasses South-East Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.
Established in 2013 by founder Jeremy Forbes, HALT aims to remind tradies they are valued by their community, and direct them to support services, both local and national, should they need them.
Funding will assist HALT suicide prevention community workers to engage with blue-collar workers (tradies, farmers, miners, factory workers, apprentices) who might find it challenging to access, and interact with, local and national mental health services.
The HALT suicide prevention community worker’s main activities will be organising HALT “Save your Bacon’ events and educational sessions at Hardware stores, TAFE’s, Men’s Shed’s, Local Councils, Secondary Colleges, and in the Farming, Mining and Sporting communities.
“HALT is grateful to the Federal Government for investing in our work in the community,” Mr Forbes said.
“This funding means we can have HALT community engagement workers on the ground in communities to connect with the tradies to raise awareness, educate and have those tough conversations around anxiety, depression and suicide.
“Form our very first meeting with Greg, he listened to us, understood and was proactive in helping us get these workers into the communities that need them.
“This is a great and positive first step for us and tradies around Victoria”
Evidence-based approaches and strategies to prevent suicide are best implemented through a community-wide approach, including more effective follow-up support for people who have attempted to take their own lives.
The Government is committed to ensuring people with mental health challenges get the support and treatment they need, and this initiative will see a coordinated approach to provide guidance to working class Australians.
Suicide is a national tragedy and close to 3,000 Australians take their lives each year. One life lost to suicide is one too many.
Mental health is a matter very close to my heart and preventing suicide in our community is a matter of national importance.
I have met many families touched by suicide and their experience and stories is driving my determination to achieve real change.
Strengthening and developing mental health support services and outcomes for people with mental illness can only be done in partnership with the community, sector and all governments.
The Liberal National Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with a record $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year alone.
The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.
In the 2018–19 Budget, mental health funding increased by $338.1 million to boost support for suicide prevention, research and programs for Australians.