Not long ago, my mum told me that The Sunday Telegraph were focusing heavily on mental health and suicide prevention with a massive section in Sunday's paper. They were putting on a forum in Sydney called Can We Talk which aimed to get experts connected with the community and talk talk talk about mental health. Totally up my alley.
I quickly emailed the Tele to offer my involvement on the panel but wasn't quick enough. The panel was already booked up. Luckily due to some very encouraging popular demand they decided to do a second forum the very next night and booked me in. So that's what I did earlier this evening! It was crazy timing with flying in from Alice Springs as it was starting, heading straight to the Seymour Centre, and only being a tad late.
Meanwhile as fate would have it there was a cancellation on last night's panel so my mum was asked to join in alongside other panel members Ian Hickie, Jeff Kennett, Carli Freiberg, Wendy McCarthy, and Dom Greenwood.
Look at her go on TV leading up to it! Proud son over here.
Bummed I couldn't see her live on the panel last night but flying in this evening to participate in event number 2 was equally as rewarding. We discussed all kinds of challenging topics on the panel with hundreds of members of the community, alongside other experts from Batyr, Headspace, Beyond Blue, and Kids Help Line. It was presented by media personality and mental health advocate Jessica Rowe (who I finally got to meet! Amazing things she is doing...) as well as the Sunday Telegraph. A truly humbling experience. I hope many people walked away tonight with a renewed sense of hope. My sincere wish is that we'll all spend a lot more time being less afraid and further break down the barriers with conversation.
A final quote from mum...
"If I had my time over again, I would forget all about my plans and dreams for my children. I'd take them away, take the pressure away from them, kidnap them"
It's been a busy week so far and it's not even over yet! Tomorrow I'm off to talk in Coolah. Woo!