On Wednesday night we had a network wide program which I’m hoping reached many of our listeners throughout the Central Wheatbelt and Avon Valley. It was the ‘Listen Up’ special, an hour feature on male depression and it was great to bring this issue to light in what can be uncomfortable topic of conversation. It went through the statistics and delved into opening lines of communication. There was then an interview with a representative of Beyond Blue which is one of many services that people can go to if they seek help. One of the best parts of the show was the interview with Wayne Swass, I feel like people have a tendency associate the AFL with players having to have a big bravado and be tough and all those things that men are expected to be. But that way of thinking sets an unrealistic expectation upon men and it’s not right for guys to be made to feel as though they can’t show emotion without appearing weak. Wayne discussed with Triple M depression in the AFL and sports, about players coming forward and admitting they do have a problem, which by all mean isn’t great but it is a positive in the sense that it may make others feel around the country that they too can open up about how they’re feeling.
In the lead up on the Wednesday morning I had Aunty Fil on the line who spoke of some tell tell signs exhibited by men that might be associated with depression that often get ignored. She spoke of physical pain, the sore back, the aching legs, how this can be associated with a much bigger problem happening on the inside. She also talked about the short tempers and bursts of anger, again a resorted to way of dealing with problems.
We speak with Regional Men’s Health on the regular with our Rural Focus program but it’s important for our listeners to know that is another amazing organisation that is there with information and are just a phone call away. This season in particular in farming hasn’t been great for a lot of our farmers throughout our region and I know that it’s set people back even more so then they already could be financially which can cause a lot of stress, but I really do hope that instead of sweeping things under the rug we can come together as a community and talk to one another and open up about it all a little bit more.
Regional Men’s Health- Phone: (08) 9690 2277
Beyond Blue- 1300 22 4636