ALLENA Jackson hopes her builder husband Mathew Shanks and his mates' pressing work captures attention, particularly among Ballarat's tradies.
They all hope to have a few laughs in the three-week push-up challenge but also to let others know it was okay to seek advice - and not just for their form, but for their own mental health.
Ms Jackson said tradies' partners were vital in support, especially in listening and looking at things in a non-judgmental way. This was why their push-up team name was Tradies and Ladies.
They say speaking up need not always be about talking feelings, it could just be seeking a little business perspective, checking in with colleagues or a laugh.
Mr Shanks said there were often others feeling the same stress and the push-up challenge was a way of reminding tradies they were "all breathing the same air".
It's not always easy...We've got to make it home safe and fit and well.Builder Mathew Shanks
"Sometimes things get on your mind. Tradies have wins and they have losses, it's part of the job," Mr Shanks said.
"Sometimes people put on a brave face but underneath their hurting. It's not always easy...We've got to make it home safe and fit and well. All we want to do is provide as a husband and father and be the best we can."
Suicide rates among construction workers are 80 per cent higher than the general working-age population, according to MATES in Construction.
Mr Shanks said stress was more acute on site during the COVID-19 pandemic in both adapting safety practices and in resolving finances.
He said wives felt this, too, when tradies arrived home whether they say anything or not.
Ms Jackson said support could be as simple as encouraging partners to finish on time more often or taking an hour to themselves to run the lake or go to the gym for their health. Or, support could be setting up good processes to tackle bigger issues, like financial worries.
"Being the wife of a tradie, you've got to look at things in a non-judgmental way," Ms Jackson said.
"Often tradies are warm-hearted guys who feel sense a responsibility that can become unbearable for them. Take a moment to actually listen, identify we have a problem and where to get assistance."
Ms Jackson encouraged tradies and their ladies to look to mates.org.au or Ladies with Tradies for helpful, practical business and health advice.
The push-up challenge raises funds for youth mental health organisation Headspace. Tradies and Ladies' money raised is directed to Headspace Ballarat.
Participants will do 3,046 push-up goal within 21 days to signify the number of Australian lives lost to suicide each year.
If this story has sparked concerns for you or a loved one, call Lifeline: 13 11 14.
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