Stab Magazine | Owen Wright, Ace Buchan And More Discuss Mental Health And Their Personal Experiences

Owen Wright, Ace Buchan And More Discuss Mental Health And Their Personal Experiences

“It’s not weak to speak” – The more mental health issues are discussed the easier the conversation becomes. 

style // Jan 23, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Although mental health facilities are more readily available than ever in 2019, it’s still a topic too often ignored. Especially for young men who are regularly torn between an instilled sense on invincibility and concerning vulnerability. 

Rather than opting for a team rider clip or basic surf trip, Dragon, recruited their Oz and NZ team at the end of last year to work towards a more fulfilling project; spreading awareness of mental health issues and illness.

Twenty percent of Australians between 18-65 will deal with a mental health issue on a yearly basis, and 45% will experience mental illness in their lifetime. Furthermore, 18-24 year olds have the highest prevalence of mental illness of any age group. Only 46% percent of these people however will seek treatment, and often a significant proportion only seek treatment after a considerable and costly delay

Mental health issues don’t just mean you ‘feel down’ either. And the symptoms aren’t all just ‘in your head’. Anxious and depressive thoughts often lead to physical symptoms, and in some cases, the combination of mental and psychosomatic symptoms becomes overwhelming. Frighteningly, suicide is the leading killer for people between 25-44 in Australia and the second biggest killer for those between 15-24. Australia may be the sunburnt country with a focus on slip, slopping and slapping, but suicide kills more Australians than skin cancer year in, year out.

The above video from Dragon’s Mental Team Trip doesn’t expect to evoke rapid change, but it does hope to spread awareness about the far and unrestricted reaches of mental illness. Not only does it effect those going through unfathomable hardships, but it can strike down those seemingly in the prime of their life.

Owen Wright discusses his experiences with mental illness post-injury, adaptive surfer, Barney Miller speaks from his perspective, Ace Buchan opens up about the lows and their impacts, all of which allowed the other groms and attendees (Kehu Butler, Caleb Tancred, Xavier Huxtable and Noah Stocca) to feel more comfortable in speaking out.

There’s nothing weak about discussing mental health, in fact, it often takes courage to do so. And the more open the discussion is the easier it becomes to adequately address these problems.

Regardless of who’s promoting this cause – government funding, a health clinic, or a commercial brand – it’s a cause worthy of disseminating and discussing. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, here’s some numbers to call: 

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36

Help Line – 1800 55 18 00

Suicide Callback Service – 1300 659 467


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