Chop Out Convos: Supporting the Mental Health of Tradies

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  • 2023

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

  • IPC Health, No Moss
  • Tradies of Melbourne's West

Commissioned By:

IPC Health

Designed In:

Australia

No one understands young tradie’s problems like young tradies.

Helping young tradies develop confidence to support the mental health of themselves and their workmates affects a significant number of Australians – 30% of the workforce.

Chop Out Convos equips tradies to support their struggling workmates, to give them a “chop out”.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Young Australian males are the least likely to seek help for mental health related issues, and also have the lowest rates of awareness of mental health services. Our opportunity was to help increase the confidence of young men, especially young male tradies (Australian slang for tradesmen), in supporting their own mental health, and that of their workmates. By moving beyond cheesy one-liners, we provide an interactive and engaging experience that feels true and authentic to Australian tradie culture and idiosyncrasies. Working with a not-for-profit gave us an opportunity to focus on building the right thing before building the thing right.

  • Chop Out Convos is a mental health app, freely accessible, built by tradies for tradies, and incorporates AI for an authentically engaging chat experience. A total of 30 tradie’s unique and individual voices and design input, along with licensed counsellors, tradie mental health experts and representatives from suicide prevention charities contributed to Chop Out Convos. The co-creation and participatory design of this app meant that Chop Out Convos is hyper localised for the western suburbs of Melbourne and Australian tradie audience. The app was designed and launched to the App store within a short timeframe: 3 months.

  • We are excited, encouraged and buoyed by the unique impact of Chop out Convos to send a strong message to the Australian tradie community: your mental health is worth talking about. We measured a significant positive impact on tradie’s confidence about mental health after using Chop Out Convos, strong recall of “A.L.E.C”, and strong desire of using “A.L.E.C” for personal families and friends, with 72% of tradies reaching out to a workmate to ask how they're doing after using Chop Out Convos, and a significant increase in tradie’s confidence and skills/knowledge of having a mental health conversation with a workmate.

  • The key features of Chop Out Convos is an engaging chat experience. The practice conversations in Chop Out Convos are backed by reliable and tested mental health frameworks. We used “A.L.E.C.”, a four-step approach to help men approach tough convos that was developed by RUOK? and used by Movember. Tradies can pick from a list of conversation starters or prompts, and can also type their own response to keep the conversation flowing We incorporated AI technology (GPT3) in Chop Out Convos to ethically and elegantly elevate the conversation experience. Chop Out Convos uses GPT3 to understand the typed input of tradies, in order to keep the conversation flowing smoothly. This allows tradies to engage in a tough conversation using their own words and slang; an experience that feels authentic and natural to them Tradies can practice different types of tough convos, which are provided through scenarios. Scenarios were co-designed to be extremely relevant and hyper-specific for tradies, increasing relatability and allowing them to lean into the experience. Scenarios include checking in with a workmate who might be struggling with a gambling addiction, alcohol and substance abuse, and relationship troubles.