Lifeline Macarthur's long lunch helps men speak out

Long lunch success: Lifeline Macarthur CEO Brad Hannagan says it is a "sign of strength" for men to discuss their mental health. Picture: Chris Lane
Long lunch success: Lifeline Macarthur CEO Brad Hannagan says it is a "sign of strength" for men to discuss their mental health. Picture: Chris Lane

More than 200 guests joined in the conversation around men's mental health at Lifeline Macarthur's Mens' Long Lunch last Friday.

The annual event, held at Rydges Campbelltown, aimed to raise awareness and destigmatise men's mental health.

Special guests Allan Sparkes, Paralympian Erik Horrie and long distance runner Peter Wilson gave personal and real accounts of living through a mental illness and regaining mental wellness.

Each of them spoke about the need to reach out to others for help and said the road to that decision was rarely easy for men.

Lifeline Macarthur's general manager of strategic partnerships and community engagement Tracey Yuen said the event was well-attended.

"We're incredibly thankful to the local community for supporting the Men's Long Lunch," she said.

"Whether you sponsored the event, or brought a friend as an attendee, your involvement helps us normalise these types of conversations and create suicide safer communities.

"With three of every four deaths by suicide being men, the need to normalise talking about mental health with men remains imperative."

During a question and answer session at the event several questions were raised about the impact of social media on mental health.

Ms Yuen said attendees left the lunch with a sense that it takes a community approach to addressing mental health, mental wellbeing and suicide prevention.

Lifeline's 24-hour Crisis Support Line is available at 13 11 14 and their free text service is available on 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight (AEDT).