Mental health is often something asked about on an insurance application but is something that rarely gets the attention it deserves. It is seen as a constant invisible cloud over someone or a demon to be fought against and sadly many end up losing to.

A local Facebook group, known as Hills District Dads (HDD) is aiming to help provide another avenue for local men to come together and talk about the real problem that is the elephant in the metaphorical room.

HDD is an online community of Hills and surrounding suburbs dads, who have come together to support each other. They share stories, jokes, request advice and even ask for recommendations for a variety of needs. The group even caters for a variety of special interest and sports groups.

HDD was founded in 2014 and has quickly grown to over 3,000 members, all local dads or dads to be. Following a number of posts from members both openly and anonymously over the last few months,and following the tragic passing of several of its members to mental health problems, the HDD admin team (more fondly known as Dadmins) have rallied to put into place a new initiative.

Whilst still in its early stages, we are endeavouring to provide a regular forum for men to meet and openly discuss the issues that weigh on them that they are otherwise not comfortable sharing with others for a variety of reasons, amongst mates who are not there to judge, as well as professionals.

“The truth is, men typically try to stay strong for those around them but many c r u m b l e from the inside and by then it’s too late. Events like Movember help put a face to this problem but come December, men’s health again, takes a backseat. Far too many men die as a result of feeling like they are unable to escape the dark abyss they are in. We want to shine a light into this abyss.” Brendon O’Loughlin, one of the Dadmins said.

What is great to see is the support this initiative is getting from the members themselves, with many feeling more confident to also share their own burdens.

More information will come about as details and locations are finalised. For more information please email [email protected]

The Dadmin team are Brendon O’Loughlin, Benjamin Fischer, Michael Drogaris, Vincent Tani, Todd Querruel and Justin Bridges.

• One male every 3 hours is lost to suicide in Australia.
• The highest age-specific suicide rate (deaths per 100,000) for males is the 85 plus age group.
• The next three highest age groups are 40-44, 45-49 and 50-54.
• The suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People is twice the rate of non-Indigenous.

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