Upfront Pay helping mental health in construction
The spotlight was shone brightly on mental health in the wake of the pandemic, but lockdowns aren’t what’s weighing tradies down according to recent studies.
For the most part, men are expected to be strong, tough, and overall, unemotional. This is especially the case for guys working in trades and construction. Mental health just isn’t a common subject talked about on smoko or at knock off drinks. Showing emotions, crying and opening up about struggles are not part of the tradie culture traditionally; a concern considering that they have just about the highest suicide rate in Australia.
While there’s an understanding that construction is dangerous work and there are stringent OH&S laws, construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work. For Aussie tradesmen, the fact is that they are twice as likely to take their own lives than other men.
So why are we losing a tradie every second day to suicide?
There is a lot of pressure placed on tradies to work hard. Long hours, physically demanding tasks, and contract- based employment can leave men feeling burnt out and disconnected from family, friends and themselves. Add to this the low payment security offered to tradies and the stress involved in chasing late payments and they’re facing a poor work/life balance and risk factors for mental ill health.
Ignoring and not dealing with mental health issues can manifest itself in gambling, domestic violence, alcohol, drugs, relationship breakdowns and poor financial choices.
Eventually, ‘sucking it up’ and remaining silent can lead men to become depressed, anxious, angry and even suicidal.
What we can do to help
It’s time to add an emotional muscle to the tradie toolbox. Thankfully there are a number of fantastic organisations helping tradies do just that, including Mates in Construction, TIACS, HALT, and Trade Mutts. These guys do a great job spreading the word about how to get talking about these issues and look out for your mates at the same time.
There are also practical measures you can take to ease the mental load of running a trade business. A number of project management apps are helping tradies streamline their business, making managing jobs and people easier; but perhaps the biggest stressor we can relieve you of is late payments.
Upfront Pay was founded by a tradie for tradies to finally offer payment security and peace of mind around getting paid. We accept payment from your customer upfront, hold it in a secure account and release it to your bank account the day you satisfactorily complete the job. No more chasing late payments, no more cash flow problems, no more laying awake at night wondering if they’re going to pay.
Often taking a step back and looking at things from the perspective of what’s costing you the most time and emotional energy is the first step to mental clarity around what needs to change. Write it down and look at what options you have to ease the burden on yourself. And as we all know, a problem shared is a problem halved – have a chat with a mate, he probably needs it as much as you do.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can reach out to one of these helplines:
· Mens Line Australia – 1300 78 99 78
· Mates in Construction – 1300 642 111
· Lifeline – 13 11 14
· Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636