Men’s Mental Health in Australia: The Silent Crisis Among Our Tradies

Let’s talk about men’s mental health.

Financial stress is like a hidden weight on men’s mental health, especially for those in high-pressure industries like construction.

The life of a tradie involves unpredictable work schedules, irregular income, and inconsistent demand. These ups and downs to name a few can really crank up the pressure which in turn takes a toll on mental wellbeing.

Understanding the men’s mental health stats in the construction industry

According to Mates in Construction, in Australia, male suicides account for three-quarters of all suicides, with the numbers being even more alarming for our tradies.

“Construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than from an accident at work.”

There is dire need for targeted support and resources for men in trades. Because the majority of our clients are male tradies, it’s especially important to us to support and educate about this issue. While we’re not mental health practitioners, we understand the connection of mental well-being and financial stability for our clients.

With this in mind, here are some practical financial strategies to help during tough times. We’ve also compiled a list of mental health resources to support you.

Financial health strategies for businesses during tough times

When the economy is unpredictable, having a plan for when money is tight can help reduce stress, make you feel more prepared and enable you to take action.

Here are some simple, effective tips:

  • Budgeting with irregular income: 

Managing your finances can be tricky when your income isn’t steady. Have a chat with your bookkeeper about different budgeting strategies—like the Profit First method—or check out some free apps. You could also use customized spreadsheets designed for fluctuating earnings. This way, you can plan ahead for slower periods and really capitalize on the busier times.

  • Set up an emergency fund

Set up an emergency fund in an account that’s a bit harder to access—without a card or easy withdrawal options. Aim to cover three to six months of expenses. This can give you peace of mind during slower seasons or sudden downturns. Remember, if work slows down, your expenses will likely decrease too

  • Understanding Business Finances: 

Many tradies are owner operators and understanding business finances and your data will help you make the best decisions. Consider consulting with your finance professional for guidance. If you DIY, both XERO and QuickBooks have support lines. The NSW Government also has some free assistance available.

Prioritising and maintaining mental wellbeing

Just like you maintain your tools and vehicle to make sure they function properly, your mental wellbeing also needs regular maintenance.

  • Regular mental health check-ins:

Make it a habit to regularly check in with yourself and recognize early signs of stress, anxiety, or depression. If you notice that financial concerns or the pressures of life and work are becoming overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

  • Don’t try to tough it out alone

Acknowledging your feelings early, even if its recognising you don’t feel yourself, can lead to more effective intervention. This approach is not only easier to manage but can also minimize the need for more intensive treatment later on.

  • Make room for life

Make time for things you enjoy outside of work. Take time (some is better than none!) to do things you love so you can relax and recharge and not be stuck in the worries of the moment.

Build a support network

It’s hard to know what others are experiencing, and they won’t know what you’re going through unless you share it. Make it a point to communicate with supportive family members or friends when you’re not at your best. Also, consider connecting with trusted colleagues within your industry. They can offer a unique perspective and understanding of your situation.

Seeking Professional Help

Financial Advice: Work closely with your finance professionals. They can provide customized advice to help manage your finances more efficiently, plan for emergencies, and alleviate stress.

Mental Health: Don’t hesitate to access professional mental health resources. Consulting your GP to get a referral to a mental health professional is a proactive step toward managing difficulties more effectively.

If you’re not ready to take these steps, remember that many organizations offer anonymous, free support through trained volunteers.

Courtesy of Australian Men’s Health Forum

Mental health support for men

For male tradies, the connection between financial wellness and mental health is undeniable. By taking small, manageable steps to prioritise both your finances and mental health, you can feel better equipped—financially and mentally—to handle the demands of your challenging industry. Remember to take care of yourselves and each other.

Please note, while this article aims to raise awareness about the mental wellbeing of tradies, we are not mental health professionals. The information provided here is general. For personalized support tailored to your specific circumstances, we recommend reaching out to the resources mentioned earlier.

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Ready to take your books and business to smooth operator level? Smart choice!

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Ready to take your books and business to smooth operator level? Smart choice!

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Ready to take your books and business to smooth operator level? Smart choice!