Last week Australia was rocked by the tragic passing of Paul Green, ex-NRL player and head coach. The outpouring of grief and the call to arms regarding people reaching out for help was everywhere. Yet one thing was missing, no one was actually talking…
You see it all the time, ‘Reach out to your mates’, ‘Ask if things are OK!’, ‘You can always call me mate.’ These are things that we are hearing now and have heard for such a long time. I saw on Friday night, before my beloved Souths put Parra to the sword, a prominent mental health advocate spruiking that his goal was for ZERO suicides in this country and that we need to build mental fitness. I mean come on people, what fucken world are you living in. Can we just cut all the bullshit and get real?!
The only way we are going to solve this issue is to be vulnerable. Asking your mate if he is ok is NOT VULNERABILITY, supporting a mental health awareness day is NOT VULNERABILITY, telling people that there are support services to reach out to if you need help is NOT VULNERABILITY.
Me saying that I am on a mental health plan, have struggled more in 2022 than I ever have before in my life and have felt more than once this year that I was willing to walk away from TradeMutt because of the financial pressure we have put ourselves through is VULNERABILITY. Me talking about how my wife and I have been seeing a marriage counselor and how we are actively working on our relationship to ensure we have the best marriage we can is VULNERABILITY. Me talking about how I struggle with expectations I set for myself to not fail and that I feel a burden to not let people down is VULNERABILITY. Me crying in multiple whole org meetings when explaining struggles I have been going through and how I am actively working on them to improve myself is VULNERABILITY.
Let’s look at Micheal Hooper, current Wallabies Captain.
The 121-Test openside flanker was set to take on the Puma’s recently, yet he spoke out as he believed he was not in the mindset to fulfill the responsibility that goes with leading and representing his country and pulled out of the game.
Hooper said: “While this decision did not come easily I know it is the right one for me and the team at this point in time.”
“My whole career I’ve looked to put the team first and I don’t feel I am able to fulfill my responsibilities at the moment in my current mindset.”
Australia, you really want to see a change in the mental health landscape? YOU need to start being more VULNERABLE. It is up to YOU to speak up - be that to a friend, loved one, workmate. YOU need to talk about YOU, what YOU are going through, how YOU have struggled, what YOU need help with. Only YOU can make a change. Being vulnerable is what gets the next person to be vulnerable.
If you are a business owner, it’s time you spoke to your team about YOUR struggles. Don’t bullshit me and say you aren’t or haven’t struggled. You have and your staff need you to be more vulnerable. If you are a father, mother, brother, sister, friend or colleague YOU need to start being more vulnerable today. YOU can help make real change.
If you want to speak to a mental health counselor Monday - Friday 8am - 10pm FREE of charge and be VULNERABLE like 10,000 others already have, call TIACS on 0488 846 988.
My next psych appointment is the 23rd of August! VULNERABILITY.