AKD’s commitment to mental health: Partnering with TIACS

AKD staff with their TradeMutt funky lunch bags.

AKD proudly announced its partnership with TIACS (This is a Conversation Starter) during their annual Safe StartUp events held across the nation, as part of the AKD 2024 ‘Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Healthy Me’ campaign.

AKD is honoured to be a member of the TIACS Alliance, a collective of businesses who share a common vision to support blue-collar communities by funding easily accessible mental health counselling.

AKD acknowledge that there are factors both in and outside of work which can have an impact on yours or your loved one’s mental health. With a workforce of 1100 people, there is someone that will have something they are dealing with personally, whether that is financial stress, relationship issues, or health issues.

“There can be challenges with being able to access mental health support at times due to the cost associated with it, the time, or inability to get into a counsellor when you need it most, navigating the system with referrals etc. We are really pleased to be able to assist in providing our entire AKD team and their families with access to support by removing some of these barriers. Along with access for our customers, suppliers and the wider community,” Toni Kirkup, AKD’s National Health and Safety Manager.

“It’s a real vicious cycle. If you’re having health issues, that can have a big impact on your mental health, and if you’re having mental health issues, that can have a big impact on your physical health. Both impact your livelihood.”

It’s easy to embrace your own physical health these days, and it’s time that we start prioritising our mental health too.

Ed Ross and Dan Allen, co-founders of TradeMutt and TIACS, share the sentiment that maintaining mental health is integral to overall well-being. TradeMutt, renowned for its funky work shirts designed to start conversations about mental health, making the invisible issue impossible to ignore.

What they soon came to learn is that starting the conversation sometimes means that you need to continue that conversation with a professional.

TIACS was born out of this realisation, with the aim to help remove the physical and financial barriers associated with counselling, by offering a straightforward text and call service connecting individuals directly to professional counsellors to provide support to those that need to be able to better handle the challenges life throws at all of us.

Since its inception in 2020, TIACS has supported over 18,000 clients through 18,500+ hours of conversation.

“TIACS is funded by the industry for the industry. There’s no way that we can do the critical work for the industry without that support,” express Ed and Dan.

“We are stoked to welcome AKD to the TIACS Alliance Partnership. The funding that AKD provides not only allows us to ensure we can support every teammate at AKD but also the wider blue-collar community right around Australia when they need that support the most.”

As part of this launch, AKD handed out TradeMutt funky lunch bags to every employee. The lunch bags feature a QR Code for direct access to the TIACS contact options, creating a visible daily reminder of the resources available to those seeking support.

Together, AKD and the TIACS Alliance aim to make a meaningful impact. Join AKD as they try to break down the barriers surrounding mental health and foster a community where well-being is prioritised, one conversation at a time.

If you see tough times ahead or have been going through a life challenge and don’t know what to say or who to contact reach out and say hi a TIACS counsellor. Call or text TIACS on 0488 846 988 Monday to Friday 8am-10pm AEST to speak with a counsellor. In case of immediate danger or harm, please call 000.

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