Mental health is a growing concern for many Australians. Approximately 15% of all Australians will experience depression in their lifetime, and 26.3% of Australians will experience an anxiety condition.
While females are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. The number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll.
Suicide is now the number one killer of men aged under 44 years. This is an area of concern for the welding and fabrication sector, which is 99 per cent made up of men.
This situation is heightened by the fact that men are far less likely to seek help and open up about their mental health conditions than women.
Workers in construction and similar trades – including welding – are even more at risk. Men who work in this sector are 70% more likely to die by suicide than their office or behind-the-desk counterparts. This means that an Australian tradesperson takes their own life every second day.
It’s OK Not To Be OK
Weld Australia has made supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its members and the wider welding community a priority. 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.
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.
Weld Australia Partnership with Gotcha4Life
Weld Australia has partnered with Gotcha4Life. 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.
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.