BBQ, blokes and the Black Dog
WHAT began as a small online space for men to share their thoughts has turned into a nation-wide tour breaking down the stigma surrounding men's mental health.
The Black Dog Tour, formed by the "godfathers” of Facebook group Bloke's Advice, is making its way down the Queensland coast.
The tour bus will be in Gladstone this Friday, January 12, with the aim of organisers to inspire conversation about men's mental health and their battle with depression and mental illness.
Something that started as "a bit of fun”, grew into the Bloke's Advice Facebook page which now has half a million members, mostly in Australia.
Organiser for the current leg of the tour, Steve Clements, said the idea of a tour was proposed prior to Christmas by Daniel Bogo and John Marskmen.
"The purpose of this tour was to jump off the keyboard and get face
to face with those struggling, as a way of showing they care,” Mr Clements said.
"Everybody has been effected by depression in some way, so we knew it was important to bring this initiative to as many places as possible.”
More than 50 people turned out for the free BBQ in Yeppoon yesterday, taking the chance to chat with other men.
"It's extremely important that men talk, that's the problem but, they don't,” Mr Clements said.
"We want to break down this stigma that Aussie men don't open up ... we've got each other's backs.”
Mr Clements said if there is a common thread to the cause of depression in men, it is family breakdowns.
"That's probably the biggest one,” he said.
"A lot of blokes find it hard with marriage break-ups and being kept from seeing their kids.”