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R U OK? Day supported by local businesses

R U OK day
Event organiser Amy Plowman and her daughter at the 2021 event.

Local business Hotondo Homes is making sure people feel supported on R U OK? Day, hosting a breakfast event at Kendall Flat.

Partnering with not-for-profit organisation Mates in Construction, Hotondo Homes will host the free breakfast event on Thursday 8 September from 7 am to 9 am, providing an opportunity for tradies to stop by and receive breakfast and have a chat.

A number of local organisations are assisting in supporting the event, including Bundaberg Cricket Association, Bargara Men’s Shed and Burnett Heads Scout Group.

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the vital work of Mates in Construction around mental health and suicide prevention and to ask R U OK? to the region’s tradies.

Local builders and business owners Amy and Nelson Plowman from Hotondo Homes in Bundaberg said they were driven to help improve mental wellbeing in the sector, particularly in the current challenging industry environment.

“We want to raise awareness of the horrific suicide rates of young men in the construction industry,” the duo said.

“Many of us are still facing immense pressure in our day-to-day work and being able to talk about the challenges and be understood by our workmates makes the hard days matter.”

R U OK day
Local tradies at last year's breakfast event.

As the industry continues to endure unprecedented challenges with increased costs and widespread shortages in materials and trades, the couple said mental health support was important now more than ever.

“It’s important to us as a community to support one another and do what we can to make sure no one feels alone,” they said.

CEO of MATES in Construction John Brady has also acknowledged the mounting pressures on industry workers.

“While the industry is in a boom in terms of work, for many in the residential sector and smaller commercial sector, it’s a profitless boom for many,” John said.

“With so many factors outside of builder’s normal circle of influence, companies and individuals are challenged in ways they have never experienced before.”

Mates provides suicide prevention through community development programs on sites and by supporting workers in need through a 24/7 helpline.

Mates was established based on the simple idea that suicide is everyone’s business.

If you or someone you know is suffering, contact Mates on 1300 642 111 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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