Speaker spotlight: Jason


Please be aware that the below spotlight story mentions experiences related to anxiety, depression and/or suicide. If needed, we encourage you to reach out to your available supports such as family, friends or support services like Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 

Meet Jason from Queensland. He has been a Beyond Blue Speaker for the past seven years!

Jason enjoys spending quality time with his wife and exploring new places through local, interstate, and overseas travel.

Jason also leads an active lifestyle, training four times a week with a group called Unbreakable Man (UBM) on the Gold Coast. They engage in thrilling activities like abseiling, mountain climbing, mountain biking, trekking, and kayaking.

Additionally, Jason takes pride in maintaining his yard and garden.

"UBM - Unbreakable Man on the Gold Coast has changed my life."

Reflecting on his mental health journey, Jason acknowledges that it has been a challenging road.

Twenty-five years ago, in 1998, he faced his first bout of depression, which pushed him to a dark place where he experienced suicidal thoughts and planned to take his life.

Fortunately, his state manager introduced him to the company's Employee Assistance Program, which provided access to counselling services and medical support.

Since then, Jason has faced three more serious events up until 2019. He sought help from doctors and psychologists throughout his recovery process.


Jason’s motivation: Spreading mental wellbeing to support others and their loves ones

Jason’s decision to become a Speaker was driven by his strong desire to assist individuals and their loved ones in improving their mental wellbeing.

His goal is to positively impact others by sharing his knowledge and experiences, even if the results are not always immediately visible.


Unforgettable moments: Inspiring resilience

A recent memorable speaking engagement was to prisoners at a Queensland correctional facility.

“The standout though was to receive copies of the prisoners handwritten feedback forms. Many still have hope and that is encouraging.”

This experience left a lasting impression and led to Jason being asked to return on a frequent basis, which he was pleased to hear and more than happy to return.


How Jason looks after his mental health

Over the past two years, Jason has become a fit and healthy individual. He has adopted a regular workout routine, reduced alcohol consumption, and quit smoking.

Managing anger and practicing daily gratitude have also played integral roles in maintaining his mental well-being. As a result, Jason's resilience has significantly improved.


Message to the audience

"No one's life will be easy, and tough times are inevitable. To navigate these challenges, we must cultivate resilience.”

Jason emphasises the importance of making conscious choices, such as healthy eating, moderation in drinking, and regular exercise. He also highlights the significance of surrounding oneself with positive influences in family and friend circles.

He shares his personal experience as proof that making these hard choices have led him to a happier and healthier life.


Advice to other speakers

"Prepare your story and don't feel bad if you need to read it at the first event."

Jason encourages new speakers to rehearse their speeches with friends or family beforehand to ease any initial nerves.


Excitement for the future

Jason eagerly anticipates speaking to the team at The Big Issue in Brisbane.

This event holds special significance as he addresses vendors who have experienced homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, long-term unemployment, mental illness, family breakdown, and disabilities. He looks forward to a soccer game as part of the event.

Additionally, Jason expresses his excitement about his first trip to Europe scheduled for November.


Achieving ultimate empowerment

"Me finally owning every choice that I have ever made has brought me peace. It's not others or events in my life that made a difference; it's my reaction to those people and those events that did."

Jason emphasises the power of taking responsibility for one's choices as a path to finding peace and personal growth.