Steel Blue and Beyond Blue are celebrating a massive milestone as sales of the Steel Blue ‘Blue Boots’ have raised a whopping $300,000 for Beyond Blue.
Since 2014, Steel Blue has directly donated $10 to support the Beyond Blue Support Service from every pair of men’s and ladies’ Blue Boots sold.
Steel Blue Chief Executive Officer Garry Johnson said the $300,000 mark was a massive milestone.
“Steel Blue has now sold over 38,000 pairs of men’s and women’s Blue Boots, supporting over 6,250 contacts to the Beyond Blue Support Service and providing Aussies with 24/7 access to a trained mental health professional.
“The reality is, most tradies are men, and we know that every day in Australia approximately seven men die by suicide. We also know that men are far less likely to seek help.
“As well as raising vital funds for the amazing work Beyond Blue do, our Blue Boots serve to raise awareness – they’re a natural conversation starter at many work sites to further help break the stigma around mental health.
“This is retail therapy in the very real sense of the word – we’re literally trying to help tradies ‘boot the blues’ in the most practical way we know.”
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said the long-standing partnership with Steel Blue continues during a crucial time in Australia.
“Steel Blue’s support is so vital, especially at a time when people across the nation continue to feel the effects of the pandemic,” Ms Harman said.
“Monthly demand for Beyond Blue’s support services remains between 20 to 30 per cent above pre-pandemic levels, so we are extremely grateful to Steel Blue for supporting our work.
“When I started at Beyond Blue seven years ago a pair of Steel Blue’s Blue Boots were waiting for me. I’ve worn them proudly at many Beyond Blue community events, from inner cities to visiting mining sites in the Pilbara. They always spark conversations about mental health and those chats help smash the stigma and remind everyone support is available.”
In just 25 years, Steel Blue has gone from the humble beginnings of five Aussie blokes with a vision, to a global safety boot manufacturer with distribution to over 40 countries. After recognizing some of the highest levels of mental health illness and suicide were found among their customer base of tradies, FIFO and construction workers, Steel Blue wanted to do more than make footwear.
The partnership with Beyond Blue allows Steel Blue to financially support the Beyond Blue Support Service which offers free, immediate, and confidential counselling, from mental health professionals, over the phone and online.
Another important Blue Boots partner, the Australian Physiotherapy Association Chair of Occupational Health, Deb Sutherland, said the initiative tied in perfectly with the APA’s Tradies National Health Month every August.
“Physiotherapists are often the first point of contact for injuries, placing them in the prime position to identify signs of poor mental health and encourage tradies to seek professional help.
“Whether on an individual or company-wide basis, people never know the difference a simple chat or a bit of awareness raising may make.”
The Beyond Blue Support Service can be reached on 1300 224 636 or via email and webchat at beyondblue.org.au/getsupport