What Is HALT?
WHAT IS HALT?
Hope Assistance Local Tradies (HALT) is a national grass-roots suicide prevention charity. We host ‘Save Your Bacon’ Brekkies and safeTALK events for tradies and apprentices at workplaces, hardware stores, sporting clubs, Men’s Sheds and TAFEs across Australia to raise awareness of mental health and connect people with local and national support services.
HALT events provide tradies and apprentices with the tools to start having conversations about mental health, and we encourage tradies to support their mates when they’re going through tough times.
HALT also runs a HALT-Friendly Clinics Program in order to complement our outreach work with tradies. The first of its kind the program directly links HALT event attendees with GP and psychologist clinics in their local area that have a specific interest, knowledge and skills in men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
ORIGINS OF HALT
HALT was formed in the regional town of Castlemaine, Victoria after the tragic death of a local tradie to suicide in 2013. His death shook the small community and left many people questioning what had gone wrong and what could be done to prevent suicide in their community in future. The two key drivers of the initiative, Jeremy Forbes, a local painter & decorator and Catherine Pilgrim, a local artist, knew that they had to get the community together and do something to help.
The very first ‘Save Your Bacon’ Brekky was born soon after as a way of showing support for the tradie community and linking them up with services if any were feeling unable to cope or experiencing mental health issues. That first HALT event was held in the wee hours of the morning in the timber yard of Tonks Bros., a local hardware store. Many other local businesses got behind the event with generous donations of food, coffee, chocolates and vouchers. Volunteers from the local Rotary Club came to cook the bacon and eggs and brew the coffee for the tradies. Event attendees were provided with information to take away with them about national support organisations and local health services.
Since its humble beginnings HALT has grown exponentially due to the generous support of a number of local and national funding organisations and businesses, including securing $2 million dollars in federal government funding over 4 years in order to employ more HALT Project Workers to deliver HALT’s key messages to tradies across the Greater Melbourne region.
HALT has now delivered close to 1000 ‘Save Your Bacon’ Brekkies and other events, reaching more than 100,000 tradies across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
2016 – Jeremy Forbes was awarded the Westpac Social Change Fellowship Award.
2017 – HALT was the recipient of a the WorkSafe OHS Achievement of the Year Award.
2018 – HALT was featured in the short documentary ‘Tough Conversations with Henry Rollins’.
2018 – HALT went global with Jeremy Forbes’ Ted Talk.