As many of you would know, in November I had the pleasure of welcoming Gus and Vicky Worland to Parkes and Forbes.
I am so grateful to the community, and particularly both Parkes and Forbes Shire Councillors for their warm welcomes. Gus and Vicky have been working so hard to share the message about Gotcha4Life and their goal of zero suicide.
Prior to Landcare NSW partnering up with Gotcha4Life, I had not heard of Gus Worland. Like many from regional areas, who aren’t up with their MMM radio announcers! To tell you the truth, even when I did see the Man Up series advertised on ABC, I just thought…arh another loud, smart-mouthed radio personality from Sydney who has had ‘a moment’ and made a TV series of it.
After learning more about Gotcha4Life and realising that….yes, this guy is serious about what he is doing, I thought that the Gotcha4Life program would be something that majorly benefits our communities and submitted an expression of interest to have a program running in our area and a funder came forward, knowing that mental health is a major battle for so many and our area is not immune to suicide and mental health battles.
After being inspired by presentations from both Gus and Vicky during their time with us, I finally decided to watch the Man Up series on ABC I-view….oh boy…it was an emotional roller-coaster!
Yes….Gus is loud, but not all of the time…telling a story, especially a story about how suicide has impacted your life and the life of those around you is a challenge. This is what sparked this whole mission off for Gus.
The series of three episodes covers so much. Starting on a construction site with Steve who had survived a suicide attempt and is now working hard to ensure that others within the industry know that they have options. The construction and mining industry has the highest rate of suicides in Australia. Farm, forestry and garden workers were the next industry. Gus also spends some time droving….oh boy…that was an experience to behold….I must admit it was kinda fun to see him experience some cattle excrement in the face.
The episodes also cover behind the scenes at one of the 41 Lifeline call centres in Australia. The Black Dog Institute who have just undertaken the first major study of Australian Men who have attempted suicide. Wow! There are also some good tips for the man hug – something that we need to be dubious about with our current Covid conditions, but it is still fun to watch. Excellent commentary as well. How long do you linger?
If you want to get a better understanding of the angle that Gotcha4Life have on changing the way we think about masculinity and relationships, in episode two we get to meet Tom Harkin. Tom is the founder of Tomorrow Man who are facilitating programs for Gotcha4Life.
We look forward to sharing the Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman program through Gotcha4Life through our senior schools in the Parkes and Forbes Shires. We need to make some changes to how we are doing things. We don’t want to lose any more people in our communities to suicide.
If you don’t hear about this from your school in Term one. Start asking questions. This is an amazing gift to our communities that can change lives. Imagine how much more fabulous we can be!
Do yourself a favour and check out the series on ABC I-view. Follow this link to the series.