Weld Australia has partnered with Gotcha4Life to help build the mental fitness of Australia’s welders.
According to a report by Weld Australia and Gotcha4Life, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age, and men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. Workers in construction and other trades – including welding – are even more at risk. Tradies are 70 per cent more likely to die by suicide than their behind-the-desk counterparts.
This means that every second day an Australian tradie takes their own life.
Despite these alarming statistics, mental health definitely isn’t something that tradies talk about at smoking break or after work, according to the report.
Weld Australia and Gotcha4Life believe that, together, they can strengthen the emotional muscle to help build strong social connections, which in turn develops the resilience required to deal better with the challenges that life throws at us.
“Gotcha4Life’s vision is focused on a society where people are open, honest and supportive in their relationships and comfortable to express themselves when they are not ok. A society in which everyone has a Gotcha4Life mate who they can open up to and rely on no matter what,” Gotcha4Life’s Founder, Gus Worland, explained.
“Weld Australia’s commitment to building this mental fitness amongst their members ties in perfectly with our aspirations and we’re so excited to be partnering,” said Worland.
According to Weld Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Crittenden, Weld Australia has made supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its members and the wider welding community a priority, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – partnering with Gotcha4Life was a natural extension of this.
“Weld Australia is proud to partner with Gotcha4Life. Mental fitness is a complex issue and there is no one simple solution. However, it’s clear that Australian tradies, including welders, need more support. The statistics around suicide and tradies are frightening, and we recognise how important it is for us to take a leadership role in helping to spread awareness and education in the welding community,” said Crittenden.
“It’s vital that we work together, that we back one another, and that we remove the stigma associated with mental health issues. Remember: it’s OK not to be OK,” said Crittenden.
Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation that believes in the concept of Prevention through Connection, and raises awareness of the importance of identifying a close friend in life, someone you can speak openly and honestly to when times are tough.
Gotcha4Life enables this connection by funding educational workshops and training programs that build mental fitness in individuals and communities across Australia, to enable strong, open and binding relationships.