Giving back and helping young aussies with mental health

45% of Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime.  Despite this, mental health is still something a lot of Australians find too difficult to talk about and subsequently don’t seek help. On top of this, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men aged between 15 and 44 and the second leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24.

With such alarming stats, lets put our hands together for our good friends at batyr who are trying to tackle this issue head on. batyr provides programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in their community. Speakers go into schools, universities and corporate arenas to continue this conversation around mental health.

In support of our good friends over at batyr, we’ve invited Angus, one of batyr’s Being Herd speakers to bravely share his story on The OYSTA.

Angus speaks to us about knowing when to suck it up and when to not!

Hi, I’m Angus, one of the Being Herd speakers for batyr. I love my sport and getting the opportunity to test my toughness against others on the sporting field.

Through my passion for sport, I’ve learnt one of the most idolised traits in men is their toughness, whether it’s mental or physical. For me, I idolise sportsmen like Steve Waugh and Roger Federer who get the job done in situations where they’re under immense physical or mental pressure. It makes sense then that many everyday men want to replicate this trait, especially as so many of our role models display this kind of resilience.

However, we only see these players on the pitch, oval or field and don’t have a chance to observe them in everyday life. What I’ve learnt from my experience is there’s a time for toughness and a time to recognise it may be tougher to admit you’re not okay and something needs to change.

My situation started when I was finishing my first year of university. I was feeling consistently down, along with experiencing nausea and headaches. After months of feeling sick, sleeping a ridiculous number of hours – even for a uni student – and feeling down, I reached a breaking point.

As a pretty rational student of economics and maths I weighed up my options:

Option one: Suck it up. Do nothing. Continue to feel crap.

Option two: Do something. Might still feel crap, but you might feel better.

Unsurprisingly, I concluded that option two was better. So, I went to the doctor and he prescribed me some medicine. This was not what I expected and I was hesitant to take it at first. I had a conversation with my doctor and he outlined two rather familiar options:

Option one: Suck it up. Do nothing. Continue to feel crap.

Option two: Do something. Might still feel crap, but you might feel better.

(It’s important to note that while medication was recommended for my situation, this won’t always be the solution for everybody.)

Unsurprisingly, again, I concluded that option two was better. The meds had an effect in about two weeks and I started feeling the difference. The haze of tiredness and sickness had been lifted. I’ve heard many perspectives on mental health and whether it exists or not. For me, there were only those two simple options when I felt down.

If you recognise something’s wrong, make sure you take option two and try to do something about it. This might mean seeing a doctor, a psychologist or even confiding in someone you know.

In my mind, there are still times where the ‘suck it up’ attitude applies, such as working hard at uni to get good marks or pushing yourself physically when exercising. However, if I’m dealing with prolonged periods of feeling sick, tired and generally unhappy, this is when I know sucking it up isn’t an option. Instead I try to change something. I don’t feel as though I’m a tough guy, however, I do feel that if I hadn’t sought help I would’ve been a stupid guy.

Not being tough is a small price to pay for feeling well and happy again.

So guys remember, getting the most out of your 20s and 30s is not just about taking time to nail your wealth! It’s also about taking great care of your health, including your mental health.

 

If you are experiencing a rough time, need someone to talk to, or are in a crisis, we would recommend giving our friends at www.eheadspace.org.aumessage, calling the Kids Help Line on *1800 55 1800* or Lifeline on *13 11 14*.

batyr

Help batyr spread the message to aussie youths to reach out for help if they are going through a tough time. Become a speaker through the Being Herd program. Sharing your experience can have a profound impact on another aussies life and batyr are looking for more young people to get involved in the Being Herd program.

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