Good mental health starts with 'conversation and connection'
FOR Terry Cornick, something as simple as a barbecue can make a huge difference, and possibly even save someone's life.
Mr Cornick, founder of grassroots charity Mr Perfect which is dedicated to aiding men's mental health, said the charity was based on his own experiences with mental health issues.
"Around three or four years ago I was having some trouble and I went to my GP for help,” he said.
"My doctor prescribed me some medication, but I quickly found there was no social support or treatment, especially for men, beyond medication.”
"I felt quite isolated until I finally decide to speak to some of my mates,” he said.
"I was pretty surprised to find that they didn't run away when they heard about my problems, and they all said they had suffered similar experiences.”
Mr Cornick said he found research highlighting many men aged 30 years old and higher found a distinct lack of social connection as family and work commitments increase, which led to the creation of Mr Perfect.
Mr Cornick said the "pre-crisis charity encourages conversation and connection in a supportive and inclusive environment”, mostly through men's community barbecues.
"The barbecues are just an easy, no-pressure environment where men can gather together, have a snag and a yarn and just have some social interaction once a month,” Mr Cornick said.
With more than 23 monthly barbecues currently running across the country, Mr Cornick said he is looking for a community member to host a barbecue get-together in Lismore.
"We are looking for a member of the community to be our barbecue host for a couple of hours each month,” he said.
"We usually hold the events on a Sunday, and the charity funds the equipment, marketing and everything else involved.
"We need someone willing to volunteer some time to help make some new mates.”
Mr Cornick said Mr Perfect events in regional areas are even more important than city areas due to the the lack of mental health services.
For more information visit www.mrperfect.org.au, and if you are interested in hosting an event email firstname.lastname@example.org.