THE Fraser Coast is being urged to get behind Hervey Bay mental health advocate Shane Bradbury, as public voting in the Australian Mental Health Awards 2022 draw to a close.
Shane has been nominated as a finalist in the Advocate of the Year category, Queensland.
VOTE NOW: To vote for Shane Bradbury, click here.
Every year during National Mental Health Month, the Mental Health Foundation Australia recognises and celebrates the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations working to remove stigma and raise awareness around mental health.
Shane has been recognised for his role in setting up the Men’s Walk and Talk Hervey Bay Group.
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The group provides an opportunity for men to get together to walk, talk and support each other in a regular and healthy way.
Since its launch in September 2021, the Men’s Walk and Talk Hervey Bay Group has staged over 112 walks, with some 149 men completing a combined total of 1,434 walks.
Known as Hervey Bay’s ‘Manbassador’, Shane actively promotes men’s mental health and well-being via the group on a daily basis – with regular walks taking place every Tuesday and Thursday – and additional activities on many Saturdays.
Shane told Good News Fraser Coast he was humbled by the nomination.
“It came out of the blue. We have been going for just over 12-months and are not in it for the awards,” explained Shane.
“I just love being part of a community where I’m finding more and more men who are grateful to have a group to come to, meet new people and take part in some physical exercise in a non-judgemental and inclusive environment,” he continued.
Shane started the group after realising he was making “too many excuses” not to get out and exercise.
“I quickly found other many men had the same thoughts.
“Most men that come along have finished their more physically active sports and still would like to do something where they connect with other men. It’s been an interesting journey as many participants have started opening up and talking about their struggles and experiences.”
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Shane said it’s unfortunate that many men in the community – and around Australia – still do not have the courage to speak up.
“We are not mental health professionals and do not provide that support, but we are there to listen if someone is struggling and to offer guidance on how to try and get the support they need.
“Sometimes problems can be overcome by a simple conversation or realisation that their issue may be more common than they thought. It’s been inspiring to hear the impact we’ve had on many people’s lives during our short existence.”
You can help Shane at the awards by voting online.
To do so, click here.
Public voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday, 21 September 2022.
Shane urged men who are looking to meet a great bunch of blokes who enjoy getting outdoors to join a walk.
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