VicBears is planning to start some life-changing conversations this September 15, hosting a discussion evening on mental wellbeing and how to look after your mates. The evening is being held to coincide with R U OK Day, a national day of awareness that aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to have open and honest conversations and stay connected with people in their lives. www.ruokday.com.au
These conversations are particularly important for gay men, who have higher rates of depression and are at increased risk of suicide when compared to heterosexual men. The evening will be hosted by our very own Kevin Reader and Jack Chapman (JOY 94.9’s “The Cubby House”) and features special guests Dr George Forgan-Smith (The Healthy Bear Blog), Christopher Banks (The Bipolar Bear Blog, NZ) and clinical psychologist Ryan Teuma.
“It’s going to be fun and informative, but also a safe place for guys to raise their own questions and share their own experiences of mental wellbeing,” says Jack, event co-ordinator and VicBears Committeeman.
“We bears pride ourselves in the inclusive community that we share. However, when one of our own is going through a hard time it can be difficult to know what to do.”
A literature review carried out by national depression initiative Beyond Blue found that gay men are three times more likely to experience major depression, when compared to heterosexual men.
“RUOK day is a celebration of living. It is about equipping ourselves and others with the skills and the confidence to look out for each other effectively. It’s about preventing little problems from escalating to big problems.”
We’d love you to join us for this special Community Forum – the first of many from VicBears in 2011/2012.
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