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Bluehats celebrated at Conference

Posted on June 14, 2022

Trigger warning, this article discusses mental health and suicide.

Last week we welcomed our Bluehats to the inaugural Bluehats Suicide Prevention Conference in Melbourne.

The conference had been delayed several times due to COVID, we were excited to be able to bring the Bluehats together for a day of sharing, listening and connecting.

Incolink CEO Erik Locke opened the event by welcoming Senior Elder Uncle Ringo Terrick from Wurundjeri country. Uncle Ringo shared his own moving experience with mental health and then delivered the Welcome to Country.

Erik Locke thanked Uncle Ringo Terrick and reflected on the challenges the industry has faced over the last couple of years.

Speaking about the Bluehats conference and the program itself, Incolink CEO Erik Locke said

“Long delayed, the Bluehats conference was a great chance to, learn, collaborate and plan for a better program – and to celebrate the many Bluehats involved”.

MC – David Schwarz

We were fortunate to have David Schwarz as our MC for the day.

David is known to many as a retired AFL player having played for the Melbourne. Throughout the day attendees learned about David’s lived experience with gambling, and how it impacted not only him but his family life too.

David who is now a Responsible Gambling ambassador and co-hosts the Twilight Zone on 3AW.

Event Sponsors

Thanks to Cbus Super and WorkSafe Victoria for continuing to sponsor the Bluehats program.

Their ongoing support enables Incolink to expand the Bluehats Suicide Prevention program and makes events like this possible.

Speaking about the partnership Erik Locke said “Cbus and Worksafe help us expand our reach and improve our offer. We couldn’t be more grateful to them. They are helping Bluehats save lives”.

“Cbus and Worksafe help us expand our reach and improve our offer. We couldn’t be more grateful to them. They are helping Bluehats save lives.”

Incolink CEO, Erik Locke

Christian Bombig, Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships presented about the importance of mental health in the construction industry and the work Cbus are doing to support their members.

Anthony’s story

Anthony Hart's keynote presentation about his own experience with mental health was candid and inspiring

After running a successful business in London Anthony returned home to Adelaide to find his mental health deteriorating. He shared his personal experience and the steps he used throughout his recovery.

Anthony went on to found Invigor Wellbeing and is an advocate for mental health reform.

Workshop: Breaking the ‘Man code’

Tom Bell from Tomorrow Man delivered an intensive 2-hour workshop on Breaking the Man Code.

The workshop questions the rules of masculinity that many live by and encourages honest and open conversation. Old male stereotypes were challenged and instead a more positive version of masculinity were established.

Tom had small groups of attendees engaging in meaningful conversation and learning new things about each other and themselves.

How to gamble responsibly

Gambler’s Help City gave a presentation on the devastating impact gambling can have on lives when it gets out of control.

They spoke about the warning signs to look out for and how and where to seek help.

Ian spoke openly about his own struggle with gambling, starting when he was in high school and how that followed him throughout his life. Gambler’s Help were able to offer Ian the support he needed to recover from his harmful gambling behaviour.

The audience was so taken with Ian’s story that he received a standing ovation. Demonstrating the power of sharing experiences with others.

Door prizes

Our door prizes on the day were generously donated by Bosch Australia & New Zealand and Irwin Industrial Tools.

Thank you

We extend a big thank you to all the speakers and presenters for sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Thank you to the Bluehats for the work you do, as several of our speakers said, the work you did is literally saving lives.

We’d also like to thank our Stakeholders and Partners for their support of the Bluehats program and its delivery.

The Bluehats Program

Bluehats is Incolink’s peer-to-peer Suicide Prevention program, co-designed by industry, for industry.

Currently there are 350 trained Bluehats on worksites throughout Victoria.

You can learn more about the program and how to become a Bluehat here.

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