Why Pat Cummins wants Aussie blokes to talk more

Australian Test cricket captain Pat Cummins is backing mental health charity Gotcha4Life this year – here’s why.

While someone less grounded might have buckled under the intense pressure of taking over the Australian Test captaincy, paired with the controversy over the demise of former coach Justin Langer, Pat Cummins has managed to confirm his status as one of the nation’s greatest sporting role models.

“It’s only early days, but I love being part of a motivated and very talented group of people,” Pat says.

“We spend so much time together on the road, so it’s important that we all get along and that our environment is inclusive.

“You can pick up when one of your teammates is a little down or missing home, so we gather around them and support them as best we can.

“Just talking about it is often all that it takes to feel more positive.”

A cause for action

Mental health is a cause that the star fast bowler holds close to his heart, as he explains how it feels to “hear statistics like suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians aged 15 to 44, and most of these are men”.

“After knowing such facts, it doesn’t take much to recognise the importance of brand partnerships with charities that support such causes,” Pat, a Gillette ambassador, says.

“I grew up with my dad and brothers all using Gillette products.

“I love the brand’s commitment to being a force for good across many social causes, and I was thrilled to hear about Gillette’s partnership with Gotcha4Life.”

Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation that raises awareness of the importance of identifying a close friend in your life — someone you know you can go to and speak openly and honestly to when times are tough.

Through partnering with this foundation, Gillette will enable men in Australia to donate 50c from every product sold during the month of June towards the mental health charity.

The brand also endeavours to raise awareness and encourage men to look around their circle and think: “Is there a bloke who needs a chat?”

Why blokes need to talk more

“As an athlete, I’m aware of the toll mental health can take on young Australians so it’s important to talk with someone, even if it’s a small problem, act early and to not let it become a bigger problem.

“We should all look out for our family and friends, teammates and colleagues,” Pat says.

The campaign aims to help start a conversation about the little things, or the big things.

It encourages opening the lines of communication and opening them early to help as many men be their best — physically, mentally and emotionally.

Pat explains that having a support network of people you can turn to is crucial, especially in periods of stress and anxiety, and he credits those around him for providing invaluable support to him over the years.

A new perspective on life

Since welcoming son Albie with fiancée Becky Boston last October, Cummins has found something more important than his sporting career.

“I’ve learnt that I’m not that important and my schedule isn’t as important as looking after our son,” Pat says.

“Also, it’s taught me to be a little less structured as things will pop up that we have no control over.

“I’m most proud of my family and the wonderful and loyal friends I’ve made along the way,” he says, adding that he loves to spend downtime with his family on their farm.

“Given I travel quite a bit, maintaining relationships with close friends is important to me.”

Pat also makes a conscious effort to separate his performance from who he is as a person.

“I know that even if I’ve had a bad game, or there are negative stories directed at me, I still have people around me who care for me and know who I really am.”

With pre-pandemic size crowds filling up stadiums around the world once again, he says it will be a bumper cricket schedule for the rest of the year.

“It’s a very busy year, with plenty of cricket including tours of Sri Lanka and India, T20 World Cup in Australia, and England and West Indies tours of Australia later in the year so any downtime will be spent with Becky and Albie and our families at our farm,” he says.

“I’m also a UNICEF ambassador so I hope to make a visit to the Northern Territory to see first-hand the wonderful work that the Indi Kindi early learning program is delivering to families in remote Indigenous communities.”

How to make a difference to men’s mental health

Established by media personality Gus Worland five years ago, Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation that educates and empowers local communities across the country with the goal of reaching zero suicides.

Ahead of Men’s Health Week, Gus says Gotcha4Life is “excited to be partnering with Chemist Warehouse for the fifth year” during June.

“Money raised throughout the campaign, will go towards funding mental fitness programs across the country that engage, educate and empower Australians to end suicide,” Gus says.

“We are extremely grateful to Gillette for supporting us as the major product sponsor in 2022.”

Show your support by purchasing a product from the adjoining page or by visiting gotcha4life.org

For more health and wellness information, pick up your free copy of The House of Wellness June edition at your local Chemist Warehouse.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.