Local business backs mental health initiative

Local business Gordon Refrigeration is making a statement about mental health with new shirts, in a bid to kickstart conversations and raise awareness about the important topic.

The bold shirts are from an Australian workwear brand called Trademutt, which was founded by two tradesmen after one of them lost a best friend to suicide.

Gordon Refrigeration office manager Stephanie D’Onghia said the business decided to create conversations because mental health was important to everyone.

“It’s such a silent killer and that’s why the conversation needs to start and be more accepting and supportive and to also encourage the cultural shift,” she said.

After wearing the same shirts for many years Gordon Refrigeration owner/manager Luke Reichelt decided it was time for a change.

“And what better way to do it than by supporting mental health,” Ms D’Onghia said.

The eye-catching shirts are bright, colourful and have ‘this is a conversation starter’ embroidered on the back.

“If you see someone, say for instance, out working and you see someone in a colourful shirt you’re going to automatically already be asking, ‘why is he wearing that shirt,’” Ms D’Onghia said.

“And that’s when people can turn around and say, ‘because of mental health,’ and it brings up the topic of mental health and it just flows from there.”

Ms D’Onghia said the business wanted to highlight the subject of mental health in the workplace because it was a hard topic to raise due to the stigma of it being considered as ‘weak’.

She said not everyone had family or someone to talk to, so it was good to be able to get that support from a stranger or people from your workplace.

People wanting to reach out can contact the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, Lifeline 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue 1300 224 636.

If you are bereaved or impacted by suicide, please contact StandBy Support After Suicide on 1300 727 247.

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