Living with anxiety and depression has led Craig to discover what his true passion in life is – helping to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health. Since joining the Speaker Program 12 months ago, Craig has recognised that he has an opportunity to meet many incredible people from all different walks of life at events, and he finds that pretty amazing.
“From engineers, the elderly, health workers and the Airforce - they all have an amazing story to tell.”
Craig also dedicates his time volunteering with any upcoming BB events that are held around his community. Just like his speaking events, Craig finds volunteering at any BB event to be extremely fulfilling. Craig recognises just how trusted Beyond Blue is and the great reputation that it holds within the community.
“You are treated with respect [when volunteering at BB events]. You also become a beacon of all sorts for people who just want to talk; and I love to listen… This is an amazing thing that I am so honoured to be part of.”
Self-care is a non-negotiable when managing a mental health condition, and for Craig he understands that it’s the small things in life that can dramatically help with his post-event mental fatigue. To escape the hustle and bustle of the world, Craig finds a quiet café, sits down with a coffee and cake, and simply watches the world go by.
Craig also finds that having open communication lines helps to better manage his emotions. He also is a keen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and admits this helps with any pent-up negativity he may have.
Reflecting on his time in the program, Craig recalls a particular event where the event organiser explained to him that her son had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. In that moment, Craig instantly felt a connection with this woman as he felt many things rang true with his own mental health conditions.
“I started to well up – I can get emotional – and she just held my hand. We connected as humans. After every engagement, I always feel like I connected to something bigger. It is humbling and fulfilling for the soul.”
Even if you are new to the program and about to do your first event, Craig recommends simply focusing on your story and the message you would like to get across. He suggests viewing it as an opportunity to share your story, in hopes of someone finding their hope. Craig’s very own key message that he would like his audience to take away from his talk is, “You are not alone – support is all around you”.
Craig is also incredibly grateful to be a part of a supportive workplace that understands just how important his BB speaking role means to him and the important role it plays with his mental health. And whenever he gets the chance, he tries to promote the Speaker Program within his workplace.
We’re extremely lucky to have you a part of our Speaker’s Program, Craig, and we’re glad you have the opportunity to share our program with others – especially in your workplace! We look forward to helping you connect with more people and community groups through the program.