Keilor tradies are set to receive a boost to their mental health with the Keilor Village Medical Centre pledging to provide faster and more effective access to support and mental health care for tradespeople in the Keilor and North West Melbourne region. The practice is the first in the area to partner with Hope Assistance Local Tradies as one of their HALT- Friendly Clinics.

The HALT-Friendly Clinic project is an initiative by Hope Assistance Local Tradies (HALT), a national suicide prevention charity that works to ensure tradies get the support and care they need when they are presenting with mental health difficulties such as stress, grief & loss, depression or anxiety.

Local HALT Project Worker Tom Kenneally, who began working in the region in November 2019, was thrilled to bring the local practice on board as a HALT-Friendly Clinic. “It’s a real win for the community and will provide a vital link for tradies in getting the care and support they need. The practice really understands the needs of tradies and men’s mental health and we know that this partnership will ensure tradies, male and female, get appropriate care for the issues they may be presenting with.”

The Keilor Village Medical Centre, situated within close proximity to the Keilor Business Park, will provide GP and Psychology consultations specifically to tradies referred to them through HALT. Tradies are invited to contact the clinic for an initial longer GP consultation where the GP will be able to prepare a holistic care plan based on their individual profile.

HALT will be continuing to grow the HALT-Friendly Clinics project across the North West Melbourne region, bringing more clinicians and general practices on board to ensure effective mental health care is readily accessible for all tradies.

More than 3,000 people in Australia lose their lives to suicide each year, with 75% of those being men. HALT, founded in 2013, place a strong emphasis on suicide prevention initiatives within traditionally male-centred trades. Their outreach programme amongst tradies encourages people to have some “tough conversations” around mental health difficulties, as well as building bridges between tradies and their local GPs, psychologists and other local and national mental health support services.

One of the major risk factors for suicidality amongst men is a lack of communication or help-seeking behaviours. HALT emphasises that connecting communities and normalising conversations around mental health and suicide are the key aspects that make their outreach project effective.