Here at PlantMiner, we do our best to encourage our staff to take care of their mental health and overall wellbeing. To help us do this, we invited our friends, Daniel Allan and Edward Ross from TradeMutt, to join us for a conversation about mental health, during the week dedicated to the topic across Australia. Now, we share all that we’ve learned from this conversation in this series of blogs, covering everything from how to identify if someone is struggling to strategies that will encourage mental health conversations in your workplace.
But first, a recap of the mental health facts we currently face
- 20% of Australians aged 16 to 85 will go through depression, anxiety or battle substance abuse in any given year.
- 45% of Australians will experience a mental health episode in their lifetime.
- 21.1% of young males aged 18 to 24 working in the construction industry meet the criteria for mental health conditions. 14% will struggle with anxiety, 6% will have a depression disorder, and 5% will deal with substance abuse.
- A staggering 54% of people struggling with mental health issues will not access any treatment.
Mental vs. Physical Health
If you break your arm, you go to the doctor to have a cast put on. If you smack your head, you go to the doctor to be checked for a concussion. When you’re physically injured, you know where to go. So, why should it be any different if you’re struggling with your mental health?
Help-seeking behaviour amongst tradies and the wider male population tends to be low. This could stem from the lack of education about mental health, or the stigma associated with expressing your emotions. Many people don’t know how much they might be struggling psychologically, they don't know how to spark the conversation, or at what point it is time to seek help.
Behaviours associated with a greater risk of mental health
When working in the construction industry, there is a combination of strong personalities, early starts, long days, and labour-intensive hours that can all take a toll on one’s mental health. Along with the mentality that as a man, you must be tough and have a hard exterior. On top of that, there is a perceived weakness to showing emotion or speaking about your hardships - it leaves a heavy weight on your shoulders.
The price of working hard and the pressure of success
If you’re doing too many hours on the job and not looking after yourself – you’re in for an unhealthy and unhappy lifestyle. Burnouts can take on many forms, from waking up in the middle of the night worrying about work, feeling irritable and fatigued, drinking and smoking too much, abusing substances, gambling and not being present with those who are close to you. The pressure to succeed in your job, and in life in general, is a one-way ticket to a prolonged burnout.
This is the first blog in our four-part Mental Health Week series, we encourage you to follow us during this week, as we have more to share with you on the topic. In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll be talking about the mental health signs to look out for in others, and if you do notice these signs – we’ll tell you how to get the conversation started.
Need immediate help?
If you have any concerns about your mental wellbeing, consult your general practitioner, contact the support lines at the bottom of this page, if you or someone you know require immediate help in a crisis.
LIFELINE – 13 11 14 – 24 hour counselling and crisis support.
MENSLINE AUSTRALIA – 1300 78 99 78 – 24 Hour counselling service for men with relationship or family concerns.
BEYOND BLUE – 1300 224 636 – 24 Hour counselling service.
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE – 1300 659 467 – 24 Hour counselling service for anyone effected by suicide.
KIDS HELP LINE – 1800 55 1800 – 24 hour counselling service for young people aged up to 25 years old.
Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals; however, we are all people and we all have a mind that needs to be taken care of. By talking openly about mental health, we hope to be able to normalise the conversation between individuals, and lead by example to make it easier for others to talk openly too.