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This is a Conversation Starter

Blokes can be notorious for not sharing their feelings. But luckily there are some great businesses and organisations out there breaking the stigma and able to lend a hand when needed.

One of which is LIVIN. It began in the name of Dwayne Lally, a 25yo bloke from the Gold Coast who tragically took his own life. The stigma kept him quiet and prevented him from accessing the appropriate support. His two good mates, Sam Webb and Casey Lyons started the organisation in hopes of spreading mental health awareness and to show it ain’t weak to speak.

The way they do this is through education, because through education comes understanding, and with understanding comes acceptance. To have them speak at your workplace, school or club, visit the LIVIN website here.

Another business that’s quickly made a name for itself is TradeMutt. You may have spotted their funky workwear around the place, but if you haven’t, somewhere you’re bound to see it is at a worksite. Our blue-collar workers are typically in a masculine heavy environment which can make it a little more difficult to have a chat if you’re not feeling OK. But, by wearing these lairy shirts, there’s hope they may start a conversation, which could lead to another and maybe something a little deeper. Buy yours online here.

Their foundation, This Is A Conversation, is another initiative that’s fully funded by the generosity of others and through the donations of corporate sponsors and social enterprise partner, TradeMutt. You can reach their instant text and support line 9-5 Monday-Friday on 0488 846 988.

And remember – if you are struggling, you could be surprised by how many people are willing to listen, are willing to help you and actually understand – because the fact of the matter is, they could be going through something very similar. It does take a degree of putting yourself out there, but you won’t know unless you do.

Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.

 MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

 Beyond Blue aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours / 7 days a week.