Jun 15
Men’s Health Week

This week, Men's Health Week, is an opportunity to highlight the importance of keeping the balance between a healthy body and mind.

One man who has been fighting to keep physically and emotionally healthy is Rick, 28 years old, who has experienced a long history of anxiety, depression and alcohol dependence.

Rick admitted himself to the Mental Health Intensive Care Unit at Bloomfield just three weeks ago and says that it is crucial for men to start speaking up about their struggles and seek help when they need it.

“I basically had a break down. I couldn't control my emotions, I was erratic in behaviour, and the blood was boiling underneath my skin," said Rick.

“It doesn't matter who you are, or where you're from, we all have issues and we can't be too tough to talk about them."

“I read a story about South Sydney Captain Greg Inglis seeking help for mental health issues and decided it was time to look at my own issues. For a man of that status to say 'hey look, I need help' because of his injury, I could relate to that because I was a pro-athlete until I broke my ankle twice, I've been where he's been and that made me less fearful."

“I've been pretty miserable through my twenties and struggled with depression and anxiety. After my injuries I had to get serious about life so I became a tradie, opened my own business and worked as a contractor. I used time away from work to drink and use drugs. My relationships fell apart and my work life struggled too."

After a one night stay in the Mental Health Intensive Care Unit, Rick was referred to LikeMind Orange where he was linked with counselling and drug and alcohol support to continue his journey towards recovery.

LikeMind Orange is one-stop community mental health service for people living with mental health issues, their families and carers.

Western NSW Local Health District's Director of Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Jason Crisp, said that we need to prioritise our mental health as it is something that can affect us all.

“LikeMind is a new way of providing mental health care by providing a range of services in one central spot," Mr Crisp said.

“There is no one size fits all approach to mental health and people who access services at  LikeMind  are recognised as individuals who have a range of different health and social needs  and we are able to offer them  a wider range of services."

Rick has been spending time at his local sporting park as part of his recovery journey where he says he has found a sense of belonging.

“I've been working with young people in Orange who share my sporting interest to clean up their sports ground," said Rick.

“The group is a little community and we have started informally offering each other support and are openly talking about our issues.

“For me to get better, I've got to help others. That's the way I see it. I can't be selfish".

Media enquiries: Emily Mitchell, MHDA Communications Officer, Western NSW Local health District via Emily.mitchell1@health.nsw.gov.au