We are now at a point where we have created a culture that has conditioned us to believe gambling is one of the only ways we can socialise. In reality, this means that having a spin at the pub every Friday night can quickly turn into a toxic habit, especially when we continue to perpetuate the idea amongst out co-workers and mates that this might be the week that you win big.
Dave built his support networks through the power of storytelling, a practice which allowed him to normalise his own story and find others who might relate. By doing this he also managed to find people who had the knowledge and skills he needed by giving himself permission to be vulnerable and ask for help.
My story with TradeMutt and the Mutt Hutt begins with losing my big cousin Ben to a brain tumour at 25 years old. Ben was my only older male cousin, he taught me to play Pokémon on GameBoy and scared the shit out of Jack and I with Doom 3. We celebrated his wedding weeks before he passed. Ben was my idol and before losing him I had never dealt with grief or mental health.
My pride and joy was my escape and the day I got my P's I surprised Jordan by parking my car at the top of the car park which he could view from his hospital room. That day I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.
Saying the words ‘Mental Health’ doesn’t mean you’re talking about mental health; it just means you’re saying the words.It would be like talking about footy with your mates, but instead of talking about the game, the players and poor refereeing, you just keep saying footy footyfooty to each other.
"Funny thing is, the first time I put one on, I felt a little like I’d put on a superhero cape. My energy lifted. I wanted to talk to people. I did talk to people. Complete strangers. I interacted in a genuine (and fun) way with people I never would normally. And it felt good. Like making a difference didn’t have to always be about big things."
The 16th of April 2020 will forever be a momentous day for me, Ed and the combined TradeMutt and TIACS team. It marks the day that one of the psychologists from TIACS Foundation provided support to a young tradie who had no one else to turn to after experiencing tragedy.
Ed and I were lucky enough to visit Borallon and get an extremely privileged inside look at the world behind bars and it’s safe to say that this was a life-changing experience for both of us. Our interaction with the inmates was nothing but positive, friendly and uplifting for both them and us.