In 2015 Co-founder of TIACS, Daniel Allen was working as a carpenter when he received a life-changing phone call with the devastating news his best mate had taken his own life.
This tragedy forged an unbreakable bond between Daniel and his then apprentice Ed Ross, as he leant on him for support through this tough time. The way Daniel and Ed supported each other and began speaking openly about their mental health would eventually spark an idea which led to the creation of TIACS.
TIACS is a not-for-profit organization named after the phrase ‘This is a conversation starter’ which offers a free phone and text counselling service to Australia’s blue-collar community.
TIACS was only made possible by Daniel and Ed’s first business venture, Trademutt, the funky high-vis tradie workwear emblazoned with the phrase ‘This is a conversation starter’ which was designed to grab attention and begin discussions about mental health.
Trademutt quickly gained traction but its success of also led to questions of where tradies and other blue-collar workers could find further support.
In the search for an answer to this question, it became clear to the co-founders that there was a gap in the market for a not-for-profit counselling service which catered specifically to blue-collar workers.
Thus, the idea for TIACS was born – a free not-for-profit counselling support service funded by Trademutt and other industry partners.
Since taking their first phone call in June 2020, TIACS has helped more than 18,000 people improve their mental wellbeing.
The service has ensured everyone can access support on their own terms, eliminating both the physical and financial barriers which too often stop people from accessing mental health services and prioritising mental wellbeing.
The over-the-phone counselling service means that no matter a person’s situation or where they are located across Australia, free and confidential support is only a call or a text away.
Now in partnership with Macdoch Foundation, TIACS is hoping to expand their reach amongst farmers and rural and remote workers.
"Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to express what’s on our mind, especially for farmers who pride themselves on overcoming tough times, and it can be even harder to ask for support which is why with TIACS support can start with a simple text."Jason BanksCo-CEO, TIACS
The perfect storm of natural disasters, plummeting livestock prices, high interest rates, and volatile trading conditions are all contributing to ineffable pressures on farmers and rural communities.
The partnership between TIACS and Macdoch Foundation has culminated in the launch of the ‘Don’t Keep It Under Your Hat’ campaign which is encouraging farmers and others in rural Australia to take stock of their mental wellbeing.
TIACS is an organisation that is approachable and relatable for farmers – with the Macdoch Foundation helping to boost their capacity to support farmers and the people around them in a more targeted way.
“Our message to farmers, and those who live and work in rural communities, is simple. Mental health support is available, you don’t need to keep it under your hat. TIACS is here, so don’t try and tough it out alone, we are only a text message away.”