Mates’ motivation behind Movember

Movember team Weekend at Bernies are, from top left, John Sherman, John Duynhoven, Jonothan Box, Rob Montano and Carl Fish. Front from left are Andrew Mallon, Bede McGuane, Marc Montano and Paul Cooknell.

“Don’t think that it can’t happen to you, that was the thing, I knew that I had all the symptoms but I had a real problem, I had that feeling that I was letting everyone down.”

Colac’s Carl Fish says his friends’ decision to form a team for an annual men’s health fundraiser has inspired him to speak openly about his ongoing battle with depression.

Carl and a group of his mates decided while on an annual weekend away with their wives to form Weekend at Bernies, a team in this year’s Movember fundraiser, and Carl said his involvement felt like a good opportunity to speak out.

“I felt it was a good time to try and break the wall down; I’ve struggled with people, whether they know what’s going on, sometimes you’re happy to talk and sometimes you’re not because you’re trying to hide, so that’s what this was about,” Carl said.

Carl said he had battled with depression for the last five years, and hoped sharing his story with people would encourage others to think and speak openly about their health and seek professional help.

“It was just about explaining that normal people can be affected and people who think they should be going all right can really battle,” he said.

“The bullet proof stuff, which I went through for a while; I got in the position where I thought I was bullet proof, and that it wouldn’t happen to me, depression.

“But someone might read the article and it might help them to reach out.

“And there’s the other side, people might think others are struggling and it can go the other way, people can say ‘are you okay’, because people can be a bit hesitant to speak about mental illness.

“People asking you how you are or giving you a hug, little things like that can really help, because great support from my family and friends is helping me to improve.

“Getting professional help is a big thing; I found that getting a doctor that knows about it is a big thing as well.”

Carl said he had been seeing a psychologist in Colac for the past three years, and had become comfortable speaking about his mental health.

But he said he still sometimes struggled with people knowing about his depression.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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