In this episode of Rise and Find, Blake speaks with Drew Brauer, a Cairns-based musician and founder of Kick On, a mental health charity that seeks to connect, empower and inspire.
To begin, Drew talks about growing up in a small town and the stigma that still exists when discussing mental health. After his fiancée pulled out of their wedding, Drew realized that he had no idea how to handle adversity. He did everything wrong, isolating himself and refusing to talk about it for weeks. It wasn’t until later that he realized he needed to make a change.
Drew did what any rational person would do and quit his job. He started to volunteer and discovered that his experience had given him a passion for mental health. Kick On began as a response to fill a gap in the market. Drew decided to tailor each program specifically to whatever demographic they were speaking to in order to make it relatable for the audience.
The most at-risk group for mental health challenges is men between the ages of 17-50. This is because most men refuse to talk about their problems. Instead, they need to notice their emotions and dwell on what’s positive. When you listen to others, you give them permission to share their story. Heartbreak connects us all and no one is immune to an unexpected challenge.
This is especially important in the FIFO industry. Even though it seems exciting, it can be extremely isolating if work mates are not looking out for each other. Talk about your problems and raise awareness to look for changes in routine, or habits. This can make a huge difference.
What doctors don’t often mention is that having an unhealthy lifestyle is directly tied to poor mental health. Diet, sleep and exercise are the most important tools you have, and bad decisions can snowball and affect every area of your life. Ask ‘why’ you feel a certain way and change the narrative. Train your mind to be grateful and look for a healthy outlet to cultivate your feelings.
No matter what you do, be aware of your media consumption. While technology has expanded our access to essential tools, it has also created unique challenges when it comes to managing our interactions and avoiding bullies. Love yourself and understand your emotions. Embrace who you are and take responsibility for your life. Only then will you truly have the power to change.
(2:02) Mental health is a serious issue in small towns where a ‘tough guy’ mentality still exists.
(4:00) Technology is both helpful and our greatest killer.
(8:30) Men are an at-risk group because they are often unwilling to share their feelings.
(13:27) Heartbreak can come in many forms. Notice your emotions and build on the positives.
(19:42) In the FIFO industry, your coworkers, not your family, bear the primary responsibility to check on your mental health.
(25:14) You must adopt a growth mindset and focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.
(25:53) An unhealthy lifestyle directly leads to poor mental health. By examining your diet, sleep and exercise habits, you can usually discover the root of your problems.
(32:34) Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on almost every area of your life.
(37:12) Self-awareness is the first step to reprogramming your mind.
(43:07) Depression and anxiety are the symptom of your habits being out of balance.
(46:03) Being isolated or ostracized produces the same feeling, just through different avenues.
(49:58) If something isn’t going to affect you, there is no reason to let it control your thoughts.
(50:58) Embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to try something new.
(53:37) When you take responsibility for your life, the power is in your hands.
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