What would possess two Tradies to lock themselves inside two port-a-loo’s in the middle of the Brisbane CBD for 24 hours? It is certainly not the setting that lends itself to dealing with any kind of gastro bug, nor would anyone in the vicinity care for that to be the case. Luckily for us, the toilets were brand new and we were both feeling healthy.

As Tradies, we’ve spent our fair share of time inside the site port-a-loo. In fact, on a building site, its one of the only places that we could go to find a bit of refuge and hide away for 10 minutes. Its an iconic feature on site that I’m sure most people could comfortably relate to Tradies. However, there was a deeper meaning behind the stunt that we wanted to get across that does not exclusively apply to just Tradespeople. Like hiding in a toilet on site, men everywhere are hiding away within themselves, protecting their emotions and feelings, mostly out of fear, shame, and judgment. The idea that we could represent this by locking ourselves away for 24 hours was designed to be an interesting take on this situation, and was authentically TradeMutt; bold, interesting and a fun way to start the conversation.

We took it to another level by placing cameras on the inside and broadcasting everything to two TV’s that were outside the toilets for all the foot traffic to see. We live streamed this across social media and all in all, everyone got a pretty good view inside what is ordinarily a very private place. And that was exactly our intention. No one has ever publicly broadcast the happenings inside a toilet and for good reason, but the purpose of this was to display a level vulnerability, similar to that required to put your hand up and ask for help when things are tough.

The response that we had was incredible. We knew that the whole stunt was pretty out there but at the same time, it was the kind of thing that sums up Ed and I perfectly. It got people talking and that is our whole direction. We are not an awareness brand. Everyone is aware more than ever about mental health, but that doesn’t mean people know how to talk about it. Our whole brand is based around instigating the conversation and allowing people to be able to talk because it’s not usually something you can just bring up in conversation. We deliberately choose to take our unique fun and relaxed approach to the mental health space, because blokes don’t like talking about serious stuff. When everything out there focuses on how dire the situation around mental health is, why would anyone want to talk about it. Our whole direction is focusing on prevention and education rather than scaremongering with statistics. After all, mental health is a spectrum that we are all on, and while there are some crippling illnesses on the lower end of the spectrum, there are also some awesome feelings on the other end, like happiness, love, and joy.

Starting conversations, buy a shirt start a conversation, loo lock up, TradeMutt

The outcome of the toilet stunt was fantastic. It got people talking. It started conversations. We are two ordinary blokes who are no different to anyone else out there. Our mission is to create a culture and an environment that is comfortable and safe for anyone to put their hand up and ask for help, without fear of judgment or being shamed. That is the world that we want to live in, so we are going to to do everything we can to create it!




TradeMutt - Dan

Hi Lynett
I’m so sorry to hear about your personal experience of suicide. I can’t begin to imagine just how hard is must be every day, for a mother to have lost her son. My heart goes out to you and am sending you all my strength, love and support. From my own experience and from many stories I have heard since being in this space, the early 20’s is such a vulnerable and confusing age for guys. We are certainly trying to change the landscape and the culture around the mental health conversation so that mother’s like you aren’t left grieving the loss of their sons. I hope that with time you are able to heal, and that the memories you have to hang on to give you the strength to keep on going. Thank you so much for your kind words. Sending Lots of love from the TradeMutt team!

Lynett Harrison

Wow you men are doing amazing stuff for mental illness. I lost my son to suicide in 2014 . He was a chef and then he took a new apprenticeship with his grandfather ho was a builer so there was three generations on this building site . My son Jack was 22 at the time he also had asperger’s disorder and despite achieving so much at a young age he struggled with anxiety most of his life. He was in mental health as a young boy to help him with his asperger’s and anxiety but as he got older i didn’t realize he had slipped into depression at about age 20 and then at 21 he last lost his best mate to suicide and went onto lose 7 more mates to suicide. I think if he new he was able to talk to someone at work it would have made a difference to him.i know my son is not coming back but i do have hope that men like you two guys can make a difference. So thank you very much for being a part of mental health help. Form a grieving mother. xoxo

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