At the Tradies Breakfast outside Bourke Home Hardware Nigel Vagg, Douglas Payne, Bruno Efoti of Tradies inSight and Councillor Victor Bartley Photo TWH
Bruno Efoti is a man with a big heart who is doing his best to raise awareness about the mental health of tradies, many of them struggling with stress, anxiety and suicide during the drought.
Bruno is a carpenter based in Dubbo, who founded and runs Tradies inSight, a mental health outreach group which travelled to Bourke at the weekend.
Bruno said he formed the organisation simply because there was nothing else aimed specifically at mental health among tradespeople, and men generally.
“I was spending time advocating for tradies who were looking for help,” Bruno said.
“I realised the importance of just talking to people and with men that can be difficult. They don’t want to open up about their issues with depression or relationships or financial issues.
“I realised it was something I needed to do, to help these people connect with services that could help them.”
Bruno said he was staggered at the statistics on mental health in the building and construction industry.
“Suicide in the building trade is four times the national average,” Bruno said.
“Part of the problem is our inability as men to talk about the impact on our health with the drought and other struggles.
“Tradies are great at pretending things are right when they’re not, they go into their shells and they don’t talk about their feelings, especially about depression or suicidal thoughts.
“The other issue is that there is support for the farming sector which of course is doing it tough in the drought, but there is nothing for the tradespeople who are also being hit hard financially.
Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.