Former cricketer Brad Hogg has swapped the cricket bat for a microphone to interview mining workers about their mental health, in a new video project for Lifeline WA and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.
The project A Resourceful Life – Hoggy talks to everyday heroes will feature Hogg having an open and honest chat with resource sector workers about their personal experiences of mental health and how they’ve overcome the challenges of working away from home.
Hogg is a former T-20 and Australian test cricketer, and as a Lifeline WA ambassador, has been open about his struggles with alcoholism and depression. He said it was especially important for men to talk to other men openly about mental health to help reduce stigma.
“I remember the first time I stood up to tell my mental health story, and it was terrifying,” he said. “But after the speech, so many men came forward with their own struggles and I realised just how powerful this shared experience is. Getting to chat to some of these everyday heroes is honestly the most powerful thing I have ever done.”
Hogg’s first interview is with Leon Ruri, a former FIFO worker who has dealt with depression, suicidal thoughts and ice addiction as a result of childhood trauma. Leon created the charity Haka for Life in 2017, which advocates for men’s mental health, wellbeing and suicide awareness.
The series of videos will be posted on Lifeline WA’s COVID Coping Kiosk website which provides helpful, safe, encouraging information and insights into mental wellbeing.
Here is the first instalment with Leon from Haka for Life.
Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said despite significantly higher suicide rates among men, they were less likely to reach out for help, with only 27% of WA callers to Lifeline’s 13 11 14 helpline being male. Ms MacGregor said the stigma around mental health issues was generally more prevalent on mine sites.
“Research has found FIFO workers experience significantly higher levels of psychological distress than the broader community,” she said. “While our crisis support service takes many calls from FIFO workers, we know that there are many others who don’t call, with surveys showing only 28% of respondents were aware of mental health helplines.”
“Because of this, it’s important to open up conversations in other ways, and we hope this video project is one of the ways we can do that.”
Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14.