Coffee cups and suicide prevention at Sydney BUILD

TIACS (This is a Conversation Starter) was one of three amazing charities chosen by SignOnSite to participate in an out-of-the box fundraiser at Sydney Build. We put up $10,000, and the Expo attendees voted with their discarded coffee cups as to how the money would be shared. The votes are in, with TIACS getting $5,000.  

About TIACS

A suicide occurs every two days in the construction industry. Blue collar workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than a workplace accident. 

The impact is immeasurable: it affects victims’ friends, family members and colleagues, sending ripples throughout the entire industry.

How can the construction industry work together to curb suicide rates? Early-to-mid intervention is vital - but it all starts with a conversation.

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Not-for-profit organisation TIACS (This is a Conversation Starter) is doing just that. They are making it their mission to start conversations surrounding mental health among Australia’s blue collar workers. 

Offering free, confidential and accessible counselling over the phone and via text, TIACS removes the physical and financial barriers preventing blue collar Australians from accessing the help they need and deserve.

In just two years, TIACS has already impacted more than 7900 clients, with over 6000 hours of conversations having been made. This has resulted in over $1.3 million of market value services put back into the community; ultimately reducing the pressure placed on other support services.

SignOnSite is proud to partner with TIACS, helping them continue providing essential early-to-mid intervention, with ongoing counselling from qualified and skilled professionals who utilise a diverse range of therapies. 

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How it all started

The idea behind TIACS was conceived by Dan Allen and Ed Ross, founders of social impact workwear brand, TradeMutt. They produce funky, eye-catching workwear designed to start conversations about mental health, helping make the issue impossible to ignore.

TradeMutt came about after Dan lost one of his best mates to suicide in 2015. Both Dan and Ed wanted to change how blue-collar workers perceived mental health.

Once TradeMutt was up and running, they quickly realised how many people were reaching out for support. They also realised that many of these people didn’t know how to navigate the complex mental health system. 

This gave Dan and Ed the inspiration they needed to put the pieces in place, and TIACS was born.

How you can get involved

Operating as a non-for-profit, TIACS offers free ongoing mental health counselling support, made possible by businesses and individuals who join the TIACS Alliance program. It uses a contribution-based model enabling funding by the industry, for the industry. 

For every dollar TIACS receives, 78 cents is put back into counselling hours to ensure long-term sustainability of the service. The growth in calls and texts is quite significant, and is a true reflection of the current pressures our communities are experiencing. 

If you would like to give back, start a fundraiser or become part of the TIACS journey, find out how you can get involved today.

If you or a loved one is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, please call 000. For crisis support, such as suicidal intentions, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.