How full is your bucket?
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How full is your bucket?

Mary O'Brien


‘Are you Bogged Mate’, a service dedicated to encouraging country blokes to talk about mental health and spread awareness about depression in the bush, will soon make its inaugural visit to Western Australia.

The initiative is the brainchild of Mary O’Brien, a Queensland spray drift risk management specialist who has spent her career working closely with men – rural men in particular.

So when it comes to topics such as depression and suicide awareness in the bush, theirs is a unique language she speaks.

Through her practical workshops Mary uses the analogy of a machine to best reflect how country men could consider their own health – does it need a service? Should it slow down or take a break? Does it need help out of the bog?

This language, she said, represents a different perspective, and resonates with men.

"I found during my travels that there was a disconnect in the way depression is being communicated to country men – I wanted to fix that disconnect.”

Due to border closures, this will be Mary’s first time delivering her workshops to Western Australia, and she said she was looking forward to getting face-to-face with locals.

Collaboration with Rabobank

Organised by the Rabo Client Council and funded by the Rabo Community Fund, Mary will host three Western Australian workshops – August 2 in Northampton, August 3 in Corrigin and August 4 in Esperance, with more workshops across Australia to be announced in coming weeks.

Rabobank Client Council Manager Yvette Loyson said Mary’s mission to support rural mental health closely aligned with one of the five key themes of the Rabo Client Councils and the Rabo Community Fund, rural health.

The Rabo Community Fund has also committed to helping fund a personal assistant for the organisation over three years – so Mary can get on with supporting rural Australia’s mental health.

“We’re proud to be supporting Mary and her grassroots approach to mental health in the bush, her workshops are down to earth and the tools and language she uses is relatable.” Yvette commented.

“Often men don’t talk about their problems, they tend to be protectors and providers and don’t want to burden loved ones and ‘bog them down’ also,” Mary explained. “Men tend to want to think it out to work it out, and that’s when they can get stuck in the bog.”

Mary's workshops are open to the public, for more details on dates and locations click here

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