Gus Worland launches Gotcha4Life Project to target men’s mental health
Sydney radio personality on a mission to help save the lives of Australian men suffering from mental illness.
Filming the ABC documentary series Man Up about male suicide has changed Sydney radio presenter Gus Worland’s life.
He’s now on a mission to help save the lives of Australian men suffering from mental illness.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 15-44 years.
Gus, 48, has launched the Gotcha4Life Project, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues among men and save lives.
It’s OK to have a bad day every now and then. Talk about it, learn from it, and it’ll get better.
The Gotcha4Life Project is backed by high profile Australians including Hugh Jackman and other business leaders — with the amazing support of founding corporate supporters, Chemist Warehouse.
Gus says Man Up brought to light the devastating rate of suicide among Australian men and started a national conversation about a topic that for far too long has been considered taboo.
“We don’t like talking about it and there’s a massive stigma around it,” Gus says. “We’ve got a problem talking about our feelings.”
Since producing the documentary, Gus has continued to encourage men to share their feelings when things are troubling them.
“We should be making our young men healthier in the head by allowing them to show vulnerability, and allowing that to be called strength rather than weakness,” Gus says.
Gotcha4Life will facilitate a Lifeline Scholarship Program, provide resources for school-based mental health education programs for boys, assist community initiatives to support men’s health, and drive awareness to improve men’s mental health outcomes.
“We’re going to do some really great work,” Gus says.
If you or someone you know is having difficulties, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
The Gotcha4Life Project
More than 3000 Australians committed suicide last year with men three times more likely than females to take their own lives.
The Gotcha4Life Project aims to reduce that devastating total using the following pillars:
1. Lifeline Counsellor Scholarship Program
Studies show men in crisis respond best to a male counsellor. Lifeline is critically short of counsellors — especially males. The Gotcha4Life Project will fund training to increase the number of people manning the phone lines at Lifeline, reduce waiting times for people in need of urgent assistance, and give men more opportunity to speak with a trained male counsellor.
2. Gotcha4Life Schools Program
An in-school program for primary-aged boys talking about what it means to be a man in Australia. The Gotcha4Life Project will help fund this program across the country to challenge stereotypes presented to boys. Initially led by ‘Bloke Whisperer’ Tom Harkin, this program drives acceptance and understanding of the challenges facing males of all ages.
3. Gotcha4Life Start-up Program
With the heartbreaking number of men taking their lives every day, the issue has touched the lives of many families. Countless small operators work within the mental health sphere to tackle depression among men. This program will provide seed funding to worthy individuals and organisations in a bid to aid networks across the country at grassroots level.
4. National Man Hug Day
National Man Hug Day on March 16, 2018, encourages men to have a deeper discussion with trusted friends and seal it with a hug. It’s been proven touch creates a human connection — and this action makes you feel better. Hugging someone reinforces you are giving support, while receiving a hug lets you know someone has got your back.
5. Spreading the Word
National and international media channels will help drive this important initiative, and includes TV, in‑flight video, social media channels,radio and print and amazing partners, both corporate and individual.
For more on the Gotcha4Life Project visit gotcha4life.org