Shifting male attitudes: My depression doesn’t make me weak

On average, nine Australians die every day by suicide. Seven are men.
Behind every number, there are many stories.

Brad McEwan grew up in the small town of Lockington, in northern Victoria. It was the 1980s and ‘being a man’ meant being tough. Stoic. Unemotional. Men didn’t talk about their feelings.

In the space of two years, Brad lost his brother and father to suicide. He didn’t see either coming.

For too long, talking about mental health has been a no-go zone between mates. Considered a sign of weakness. This is an attitude that has to change. Brad has dedicated himself to the breaking stigma that stops so many men from speaking up.

This is an episode about suicide and starting conversations.

 
Photo of Cliff with quote, “I felt like I was in this sealed glass box that just moved where I moved.”
 

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Transcription

NARRATION
This season of Not Alone was made possible by Australia Post, proudly supporting Beyond Blue.

CONTENT WARNING
Just a heads up, this episode of Not Alone contains a personal story of mental health and references suicide. If you or someone you know needs support, visit beyondblue.org.au, call our support service on 1300 22 46 36, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

NARRATION
Hey there, I’m Marc Fennell and this is Not Alone, incredible stories from everyday Australians talking about their mental health, to help you with yours.

This episode is all about suicide and the changing culture of men and mental health.

(music - Sense of Home by Harrison Storm)

MONTAGE

MALE VOICE 1
I have every hope for a future where being born a male doesn’t mean a lifetime of hiding feelings.

FEMALE VOICE 1
My head is such a mess.

FEMALE VOICE 2
I can’t to anyone because only I know how I feel.

FEMALE VOICE 3
I cry and feel like a total failure.

MALE VOICE 2
I know nothing of the personal lives of my mates.

FEMALE VOICE 3
I just don’t want to be me anymore.

MALE VOICE 3
I feel pressured to be a stereotypical man.

FEMALE VOICE 4
I try not to tell anyone about my depression…

MALE VOICE 1
I feel pressured to be a stereotypical man.

FEMALE VOICE 4
…mostly because I’m embarrassed and feel like crap.

MALE VOICE 4
I feel pressured to be a stereotypical man.

(music - high pitch drones)

BRAD
To go through what we went through all those years ago, and then to see Sam and the the admirable young man that he is now, that's really important that we let people know that “yeah, help is there. It really is.”

NARRATION
You may remember Brad McEwan’s voice. For 20 years he covered sport for Channel 10 news. But way back when, Brad spent his childhood in country Victoria, near Echuca, on the NSW border.

BRAD
We lived at a wonderful little place, that I still call home essentially, called Lockington. Not very big. I think it was 300 people, but it's a great place to grow up.

MARC
So what was the vibe like? What did people like to do in Lockington back in the day?

BRAD
BRAD: A lot of sport.

MARC
MARC: Yeah.

BRAD
BRAD: Most people are farmers. But sport was a big part of our life growing up. And just being country kids, and climbing trees and riding motorbikes and building cubby houses.

BRAD
I will confess that my brother and I, we used to enjoy making rafts because there were a lot of irrigation channels in the area. And there was one right next to our house. And in the middle of winter, it was far too cold for us to test the raft. And we were probably too heavy, which we weren’t, we were only like 12 or 13 at the time. So who do you call on to test a raft in the middle of winter? Your sister.

MARC
No, you didn’t…

BRAD
We did.

MARC
How long did she last on the raft?

BRAD
Not long. I don't think we ever built a raft that floated.

MARC
So what did mum and dad do?

BRAD
Dad was a tire rep for Dunlop, which became Beaurepaires. And we moved to Lockington because mum had taken a job as the district nurse. So in a town and community without a doctor, mum was the go-to for any kind of emergency.

So we lived in the bush nursing centre, which was essentially our house, but it was connected. You'd walk through our living room into a waiting room and there was a doctor's room and, you know, a bed and all the sterilised equipment and whatever. So when you played doctors and nurses as a kid, we took it next level.

MARC
So that's what mum and dad did, introduce me to your siblings.

BRAD
So Craig born in October 69, I was born in April 71, and then Narelle was born in October 72. So just over three years between us.

MARC
And growing up, what were your relationships like with your siblings?

BRAD
Well, we played together, you know, we…

MARC
Terrorised your sister together?

BRAD
Yeah, we did. We did. Look, I think we got along like most siblings. And we fought. Absolutely, we did. But we're also very supportive. And, you know, all of our friends would come over and we had hours and hours of enjoyment there. It was terrific.

MARC
Craig had some health issues growing up, is that right?.

BRAD
Yes, he did. He had - and pardon me if my pronunciation is not correct - he had Perthes Disease, which, basically where I think the hip is not formed properly. And again, pardon me if I've got that incorrect, but what it meant was that he was in traction. Well, not in traction, just in a bed. He had to be non-weight bearing, basically for - I can't remember - might have been over a year. So he was basically… he could walk, but if he was to walk, it would damage his hips, and it might then lead to serious damage going forward. I remember Craig sort of learning to walk again. And of course, he picked it up. And he was off and running.

But then maybe it was his early teens, he was in quite a lot of pain. He was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. Which was really hard because, particularly on cold days, he’d be in so much pain and for anyone that has arthritis, you know, it is crippling and to see him suffering like that was… yeah, it was really hard.

(music - acoustic guitar; slightly up-tempo and melancholic)

BRAD
He was very, very skilled with his hands. He just self taught. He’d look at something and… I remember years later, he loved motorbikes. And, you know, he was selling a motorbike and he pulled the whole thing to pieces.

And I said, “what are you doing?”. And he goes, “I’m just checking it. Just cleaning it.” I was like, “how do you know how to do that?” And he goes, “I just explore and work it out for myself.”

So he was very, very good with his hands.

But I certainly sensed, particularly when things were getting difficult for Craig, that there was a feeling of being left out in a small country town when you don't play sport. There was a conversation I remember, he said something like, “you know, if you don't play footy, down the pub, no one really so talks to you much.”

That said, Craig, he did get into football and he started playing football.

MARC
Did you guys ever play together?

BRAD
Yeah, we did. We did. We played for a while there in, I think we would have called it the 3rds, the under 17s. Yeah.

BRAD
I remember running down the boundary line. And I can still see vividly Craig was in the goal square and he had his arms in the air and he was saying “kick it to me! Kick it to me! Kick it to me!”

BRAD
Now I could use the excuse that the other player was right there and maybe he wasn't going to mark it, but that's an excuse and that’s… nah, that's not right. So…I had a shot at goal and I wish I kicked it to him. I wish I kicked it to him, because I didn't kick the goal. I was never gonna kick the goal. I wish I kicked it to him, because it wasn't about kicking the goal, it wasn't about winning, it was just about supporting him.

(music - high pitched drones)

MARC
When did you first get a sense that Craig was struggling with mental health?

BRAD
Through his teenage years, he was… you could just sense that he wasn't coping well with different things. And things would progressively get worse. And I remember I was doing Year 12 and I came down and there was a letter there and Craig had left a note for mum and dad saying that, you know, he wasn't coping and he’d gone away. And you know, what did that mean? I don't know. I mean, your heart sinks.

And to go to school every day and not know where your brother is was terrifying. Just terrifying. And then I got a message one day - that one of the teachers or somebody walked into the room - and I got a message that he was home. Oh, God, you can breathe again. You know, after four days. That was terrible.

MARC
Did he ever talk about how he was feeling?

BRAD
Not really.

MARC
Right.

BRAD
Not really. And then another time that we knew things were bad, was when he couldn't get out of bed for work. And mum and dad we're like, “what's wrong? What's wrong?” And he confessed that he had taken some tablets that he shouldn't have.

So we took him up to the psychiatric hospital and he was in there for a few days. And he was terrified. Absolutely terrified. And then, you know, he was discharged. And the world was a very different place, Marc, in the late 1980s.

I'm not uncomfortable in saying that there was certainly… I mean, we still talk about the stigma associated with mental health today. So, it was around then, of course it was. And living in a country area, you know, people might think that you were just down in the dumps. “You'll be right, you'll get over it. Let’s go down the pub and have a drink.”

MARC
Yeah.

BRAD
And of course we know that that's not the solution.

MARC
How were mum and dad coping through all this?

BRAD
Ah, it was awful. It was awful. Because your whole life stops. You know, the fact that mum was a district nurse. So, you know, she spent her whole life helping people. So it was a difficult period for all of us. You know, we're all worried about Craig, Narelle was worried about Craig.

MARC
What about dad? How does dad react to this sort of stuff?

BRAD
Oh, yeah, dad was terrified as well. Dad wasn't someone that showed his feelings a lot. So, I know that it was difficult for him. He was a bit of a closed book in a lot of ways.

MARC
I suppose it was the men of that generation as well.

BRAD
Oh, very much so.

(music - 1980s-esque synth-rock tune)

BRAD
So there was a 21st birthday. And in a small community, whenever there's a party like that, most people are invited. And there was a relationship issue that Craig was struggling with. And he asked me to go and talk to the other person involved. And I spoke to her and then Craig, he asked me, he said, you know, “what did she say?” And basically, it was not what he wanted to hear right now.

I don't say that's the reason that everything happened. Because there was so much going on in his life and his mental health was bad. It was bad.

BRAD
Anyway, after that, he drove off. I was at the party, I got home. I was worried most Saturday nights when Craig was out, wondering where he was and what was he doing. And, you know, I went to bed and I didn't hear him come home. And the next day I woke up and instantly looked over and he wasn't there in his bed.

And yeah, we… later that afternoon, you know, we feared the worst and mum and I went for a drive and our worst fears were realised.

NARRATION
That day, the family discovered Craig had taken his own life.

BRAD
You’re just numb, you’re just numb. You know, I remember us all hugging and crying. And small country towns and communities, they are rock solid. As much as I might say that mental health is something that wasn't spoken about, that's a societal thing. But the people of Lockington. Our door just kept opening, with people just turning up. And I might not live there. But you never forget the way that the community supported our family.

MARC
Yeah.

BRAD
You never forget that.

(music - slide guitar; country feel)

BRAD
You know, Craig died. And at his funeral everyone is there. Everyone. Hundreds and hundreds of people. And what's really sad, Marc, is that Craig knew how much he was loved. He didn't doubt that. But something wasn't right.

You know, how different it would have been back then if he was able to have conversations, you know, outside of our family with people around him about how he was feeling. And how terrifying it was because we've all been scared and it's not much fun.

You know, that's just, that's what I wish, that's what I wish we had back then that we had now. You know, that was that blokey environment that I was part of.

(music - slide guitar ends)

MARC
So a couple of years later, you’re at uni in Ballarat.

BRAD
Yeah, yeah.

MARC
How different was the Brad before, to the Brad afterwards? Like, what changed about you in that moment?

BRAD
Your sense of worry and fear probably goes to another level. But in some ways, I actually felt like, like leading up to that I wasn't really one to go out and party and drink and whatever, because I was always worried about what was happening at home.

MARC
How do you mean?

BRAD
Just, you know, just, you know, if dad was angry, or you know, in a bad mood

.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that it was it was really difficult. And dad could be really difficult to live with. We still loved him. Absolutely, we did. But that was a hard time. So you know, I would often be ringing home just to see how things are.

(music - slow distorted guitar)

MARC
Had your dad changed drastically after Craig passed? Or had he always been a little bit like that?

BRAD
I think… I don't know absolutely everything about dad's mental state because he was a closed book. But certainly he would, you know, drink more and more. And that would be difficult. I'm giving you an example that, you know, we've seen in society every day for decades. So maybe that was dad's way of coping? I don't know. I don't know. But it certainly wasn’t… you know, the good days were good. But the bad days were really difficult.

(music - slow distorted guitar fades)

BRAD
He had stuff in his life that was really difficult for him. Like, dad would never, ever, ever, physically touch us. But sometimes it would be the emotional language, you know and dialogue and behaviour. That was the difficult thing. You know, for dad to be angry, volatile, combustible, whatever. Everything that comes with that, there was a genuine fear there of what was going to happen. And that was something I couldn’t live with. So, you know, ultimately, I sort of instigated the steps for mum to leave.

MARC
It's a big step.

BRAD
Yeah, it was.

(music - bassy distance soundscape; fades into solo mournful guitar)

BRAD
From memory I'd been away at university. And I think I was home for something that weekend. And dad was, not in a great place. And I remember thinking, it was an environment that I didn't want mum and Narelle to be a part of for that moment, anyway.

So I, look I said to mum, “you gotta go. You gotta go.” And mum agreed. And I spoke to dad, before we left and I said, “dad, this is just for now. We just got to get this stuff sorted out. We need a mum and a dad, Narelle and I. We love you both.”

That was what I said. And I turned, and I walked out the door, and we headed off to mum’s sister's place. And when we were there, we got a phone call to say that dad had taken his life.

(music - solo mournful guitar continues)

BRAD
I think the first emotion that comes to mind was anger. Knowing what we'd all gone through, and, you know, it was like, how can you do that to us? That was my emotion at the time. What I now know, and I understand was dad was not in a good place.

Am I angry towards him? No, no, I'm not. I feel sorry. I wish dad had been able to open up about the troubles that he had.

MARC
How much of the environment around your dad, do you think contributed to him not feeling like he could share or talk and communicate what he was going through?

BRAD
Oh, look, I think it was more dad. I think it was dad, he was a - as I say, and I use the expression a lot - he was a closed book in a lot of ways. He didn't talk about his feelings. But then, you know, late 80s, I don't know many men that did, to be honest.

MARC
Yeah.

BRAD
It was a very different place. Conversations at the pub, family gatherings, barbecues, whatever, they centred around, work, sport, farming, the weather. They drank beer, get pissed, blokes were blokes. So there was no grey. Let's be honest, there was no grey.

You know, whereas now we talk about mental health and we're aware of it. And we know that it’s just as important as our physical health. But then it wasn't really, wasn't really spoken about. Hey, it would have been great if the resources and organisations were available that we have today back then, but they weren’t.

(music - upbeat and hopeful slow pop-rock)

MARC
What is it you learn about yourself as a family, when you go through moments like these?

BRAD
You learn how close you are. We're a family that have always said, “I love you.” Often. Still do, always will. But it's one thing to say it, but then to live it. And you know, after losing Craig and dad, you are just there for each other. We are a really close family. And I'm so grateful for that.

(music - upbeat and hopeful slow pop-rock ends)

NARRATION
After what was the worst two years in the lives of the McEwan family, Brad finished his uni degree, did some overseas travelling. His working life included some landscape gardening, a stint on radio, before he landed a gig covering sport on Channel 10.

Some years earlier, Brad’s mum had married Bob - who Brad says is the bona fide nicest man in the world - and their close family had suddenly grown with some extra siblings, nieces and nephews.

And Narelle, well she followed in her mum’s footsteps and became a nurse.

BRAD
Mum would often say growing up, and I agree with this, that nurses are born. You know, there’s something special that makes a nurse, and Narelle is very much man made of the same stuff. In that, you know, Narelle loves just to listen to people and be there for them. And talk to them, and find out about their family.

MARC
Narelle is also the mum of Sam.

BRAD
Sam, yes.

MARC
What's Sam like?

BRAD
Sam is great. So yeah, Sam, Sam's coming up, 28. Gosh, yeah he's coming up 28. And he works in construction. And he's just a great kid.

Even from a young age, I would see Sam growing up, and sometimes - I’ve told him this - I'd pinch myself and think, “he's not this, he's not this little…he's ours!” You know, like, that is so cool. Like, he is our family. He is our blood.

MARC
So about 12 years ago, back when Sam was a teenager, Narelle gave you a call and she was bit concerned. What was she worried about?

BRAD
Ah, she was worried about Sam's mental health.

(music - solo mournful guitar)

BRAD
It was a change in behaviour. Not being himself. Being reserved, not talking much. I mean, you know, that said, we're talking about a teenage boy. And of course, when, you know, we've been through what we went through as a family and then to be worried about Sam. You know, the alarm bells go off.

And I remember at the time thinking, “something happened to Sam…”, it's not something I ever wanted to consider, because, you know, he's a life.

NARRATION
Fortunately for Sam, perceptions about mental health issues had improved since the 1980s, and there were more services available too. So the family helped him find a therapist, and while it didn’t happen immediately - in fact taking many follow-up appointments - Sam slowly opened up. And he began to improve.

BRAD
Until that point, you know, I was very sceptical about what help was out there. Because, did I have faith that the mental health system and a mental health professional could really help someone? No, I didn't. I really didn't. Do I now know hand on heart that psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, mental health nurses, do they make a difference? One hundred percent.

(music - optimistic and hopeful solo guitar)

NARRATION
Years after, with Sam’s mental health improving more and more, Brad caught up with him over coffee. And Sam told him that he actually wasn’t feeling his best and had made a few appointments with his psychologist.

BRAD
And I remember thinking, “oh, my goodness!” Like, not only did Sam come through this as a teenager and learn about himself, and what works and doesn't work, and mental health is part of life. He has gone back and made the appointment. It's not any of us telling him to do it. He knew that seeing someone helps.

MARC
Sam does something now on construction sites, that is really, really incredibly impressive. Tell me what it is.

BRAD
So Sam works in construction. And, I'll go back a year, eighteen months, and we're having lunch. I said, “what are you doing tomorrow?” He said, “I’m doing this course.” He said “these people came around and said ‘would anyone be interested in doing a course?’” Where basically at the end of it you would wear rather than wearing a white or yellow whatever colour hardhats they wear, Sam wears a blue hardhat.

So what that does is that says to anyone on that building site is if they're doing it tough, they can reach out to Sam and have a chat. And if they need to, you know, pursue things he'll point them in the right direction.

And we know, Marc, that the help starts with conversations.

MARC
Yeah.

BRAD
You’re not alone, which is appropriate on this podcast. But what it says is you're not alone. And maybe, you know, in something that we see is a particularly blokey environment. Hey, you know, it could be smoko, it could be after work, just the fact that, they can go to work and they can see Sam in a blue hardhat and all the other people that are wearing the blue hardhats as well and know that you're there. Know that you're there and know that you care.

(music - optimistic and hopeful solo guitar concludes)

MARC
Three generations of men in the MacEwan clan - I'm just gonna encapsulate you that way. Very different stories, very different outcomes.

BRAD
Yeah.

MARC
For what Craig, your dad and what Sam experienced…

BRAD
Yeah.

What does it tell you about how far we've come?

BRAD
Well it tells me we've come a long way because we're talking. We're listening. We have so many different organisations. But the thing that I'm also acutely aware of, Marc, is I don't know anyone that hasn't dealt with stuff.

I just hope one day that all men will understand that a mental health issue is not associated with guilt, or weakness. And what I say to men that have their head in the sand, and they think, “ah, I don't want the fellas at the pub to know. I'm so weak. How could I have depression? How could I have anxiety? Why am I having these thoughts?” You know what, think of the people around you, your family, your partner, your children, your friends. I can tell you that, to lose someone through suicide, or to see someone suffering from mental health issues, that is something you never get over. You never get over.

(music - solo guitar; country feel; good vibes)

MARC
You had many years as a successful broadcaster. Tell me about the moment you decided that you wanted to use your voice to talk about this stuff.

BRAD
I was in Brisbane working for Channel 10. And Channel 10 were supporting Beyond Blue at an event. I walked away on that night thinking, “I'm not really helping to the extent that I can here”. We're talking about mental health. And to quote Mum, one of her favourite sayings, you know, “a problem shared is a problem halved.”

And I found myself thinking, “well, look, I've got nothing to hide, I have a story to share.” So that was the point where I contacted Beyond Blue, probably informally, but then going forward, I sort of contacted them and said, “yeah, look, you know, I’d be keen to become an ambassador.”

Because the thing, the thing, this is the thing, Marc, and this is the thing that I say to people is our story is not a story of…yes, it's a story about despair and loss and tragedy and everything else. But it's a story of hope. It's a story of where we were and where we are now. And it's a story of everything we lost, but everything we've gained.

(music - Brad’s theme begins; country feel; sunny days, good times)

BRAD
This might sound odd to some people, but we're really lucky to have what we have in our family. And I would give up everything that I have to have Craig and dad back. But, we've only managed to get through it and put one foot in front of the other over all these years because of mum, and because of Narelle, and because of Sam, and because of Bob, and all of our extended siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins. We're really lucky.

And the other thing too, is I'd say too, to be able to share our story, it helps people and it gives us purpose. So it's never a chore. I mean, I feel quite privileged that we get to impact people's lives in a positive way to let them know, again, and I don't mean to be cliched, but…

MARC
You just want to make the trailer, don’t you?

BRAD
No, but you are not alone.

BRAD
Yeah.

BRAD
You are not alone.

NARRATION
There are many things we could say Brad’s family’s story is about. And in some ways I think it’s a really good reflection of what is possibly happening in households and towns all across the country.

It’s a story about how mental health and the way we view it and treat it has changed so much over the decades. I think it’s also a story about how men, at least in some quarters, have got a lot better at expressing themselves and putting their hand up when they do need help. But mostly, for me, it is a story about how a family stuck together through an awful, awful time, and how those bonds can never be broken.

BRAD
I remember, as a kid, and I imagine a lot of us have had these dreams where you have a…well, it's a nightmare. And you think that something has happened to, particularly your parents.

What I found that I would do after Craig died is I would have the reverse. I would dream that he's alive. And it was so real. And he was there. And I, in most dreams, Marc, I'm hugging him. You know, I'm embracing him saying, “oh, I just I thought something happened to you and you're back and ahh.” It's such a good feeling. It really is. And then you wake up and you realise, “ah, shit.” It’s not real.

However. If that dream is a way of me connecting with Craig, that'll do me. If that's a way of somehow saying “hey, I’m okay, you’ll be okay, I’ll see you again.” That's great. Absolutely.

(music - Brad’s theme continues)

NARRATION
In Australia, men are significantly more likely to take their own lives, but are less likely to seek support for their mental health. So to get a better sense of the reasons for this and the advancements that have been made, I sat down with Beyond Blue’s Lead Clinical Adviser, Dr. Grant Blashki.

(music - Brad’s theme concludes)

MARC
Dr Grant Blashki, welcome back.

DR. GRANT
Thank you.

MARC
It’s lovely to see you again. One of the things that really strikes me about listening to Brad’s story is it really does throw into quite sharp relief how long a way to go, we have to go when it comes to men opening up about mental health. I mean it’s a big question, but why do you think that is? Why is that men are on a very different journey in that regard?

DR. GRANT
Yeah, I agree with you. There was a real sense of difficulty for men seeking help for mental health issues. We know it’s a big problem. I mean there’s that very sad statistic that we have about nine suicides a day in Australia, and on average six of these are men. So that is a pretty heartbreaking stat.

And I think for the guys there’s still a lot of stigma; mental health as a weakness, that you could just snap out of it. Or, “hey, I'll just sort it out myself.” And the research tells us men are less likely to seek professional help when they have a mental health problem.

MARC
If you're worried about someone, a friend, a family member, or co worker, what do you reckon is the best way of approaching that conversation?

DR. GRANT
Yeah, so the first thing to say is you don't have to be a psychologist. And so if you're worried about a friend or family, you can ask them how they're going. I think a lot of people are worried that if they ask someone about self harm or suicidality, that they'll put that idea in their head, but there's actually no evidence that's the case.

You've got to use your common sense a bit. The right time, the right place, are you the best person to be approaching them. And I think for men in particular, sometimes a parallel conversation, like going for a drive or having a kick of the footy, and sort of having a chat on the side, rather than being right in someone's face, that can be quite a good way to approach and get them talking.

If they say, “listen, everything's fine, don't worry about it”, it's not a wasted conversation, because they know you're interested. They might come back to you later on, and they know that you'll talk to them in that situation.

MARC
I did want to bring up the blue hardhat initiative from IncoLink, which is just an amazing idea, but there are plenty of grassroots mental health initiatives - others that are probably worth mentioning. Are there other ones that stick out to you that you'd like people to know about?

DR. GRANT
Yeah, what I really liked about the blue hardhat initiative was, there was Sam, and you know, this story, we heard from Brad about the intergenerational reverberation of all these mental health issues, and it was just so beautiful, wasn't it that that he had created this way of helping people who are having mental health problems. And you can imagine in the construction industry, you know, bringing up a mental health issue might not be the easiest thing in the world.

A nice service that Beyond Blue has are these things called forums, community forums. Some people actually prefer typing, to chatting to someone. And on the forums, sometimes they're just more honest, they don't have to put their real name. And these beautiful things happen, where we've got these community champions who've self identified themselves and actually really reach out and help people who are having a hard time. And they're full of great ideas and wisdom and networks and helping people get a bit of help when they're having a hard time.

MARC
Dr. Grant Blashki it's always lovely to catch up. Thank you so much for weighing in on the story today.

DR. GRANT
Thanks a lot, Marc.

(music - show theme)

NARRATION
A huge thank you to Brad for sharing his story, and Craig’s, his dad’s and the whole extended McEwan clan.

You can join the conversation and share your story at beyondblue.org.au/forums

If you or someone you know needs support, you can visit our website or call our Support Service on 1300 22 46 36. The Bluehat Suicide Prevention initiative Brad spoke about is run by an organisation called IncoLink. We’ll put some info about that and some other resources in the show notes.

Not Alone is a Beyond Blue podcast, hosted by me, Marc Fennell. It’s produced by Sam Loy, and executive produced by Darcy Sutton and Sarah Alexander. It was recorded by Ryan D’Sylva, with mixing and sound design by Que Nguyen.

This podcast was produced on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Boonwurrung, Gadigal and Dja Dja Wurrung Country, and we pay respect to the traditional owners of these lands.

Thank you for listening to Not Alone.

AUSLAN translation

Not Alone is hosted by Marc Fennell, produced by Sam Loy and executive produced by Darcy Sutton and Sarah Alexander. Mixing and sound design by Que Nguyen.

Our theme song Sense of Home is by Australian artist Harrison Storm.


Helpful resources

  • You can join the discussion on our Beyond Blue online forums
  • Head to Incolink for more information on the Bluehats Suicide Prevention Program mentioned in this episode.
  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a 24-hour national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
  • MensLine Australia (1300 78 99 78) is a 24/7 telephone, online support and information service for men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties.
  • Head to Health can help you find digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations

Suicide and crisis support:

  • The Beyond Now suicide safety planning app helps you stay safe if you're experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings, distress or crisis.
  • The Suicide Call Back Service provides professional 24/7 telephone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. You can access this service by calling 1300 659 467.
  • Lifeline provide crisis support and suicide prevention services – they can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 13 11 14.
  • If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000

 

Back to Not Alone home page

 

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Season Two of Not Alone was made possible by Australia Post proudly supporting Beyond Blue.

 

Crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. Other services include:

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