At Modibodi, we strive to open up the conversation about men's mental and physical health. The stuff no one talks about. We tackle the tough topics and protect your actual tackle while we’re at it.
Recently we caught up with Jeremy Forbes, founder of HALT, to get an insight into how and why he decided to create the health promotions charity. You may have seen Jeremy on the TV or hosting brekkies for tradies on site or in hardware stores, at sporting clubs or other places around the community to help men open up and create a place to discuss suicide prevention.
What is HALT about? Who is it for?
HALT is a health promotions charity that aims to break down the stigma and shame around mental health, open up conversations and increase knowledge and awareness of mental health. HALT originally started to assist tradies to open up and seek help but now we have a whole of community approach to suicide prevention. HALT holds events in/at Hardware stores, trade stores, sporting clubs, local councils, farming communities, TAFE's and secondary colleges, Men's shed's groups, to name a place in the community.
What made you decide to create HALT?
HALT began after the suicide of a local tradie in Castlemaine, Central Victoria. The realisation hit that I had been existing in a culture where men don't talk about our feelings and emotions, we don't acknowledge when something's wrong and we don't know how to have that tough conversation with ourselves or our mate to seek help, indeed, the shame stops this. A lot of men also don't know where to go to get support.
What has been your biggest highlight since you created HALT?
At many HALT events we have men coming up and thanking us for the work we do, the authenticity and honesty we bring and for encouraging us all to be ok with talking about what's wrong in life. When a person lets us know that after a HALT event they rang up the doctor to book themselves in to get help, that's a massive highlight for all our workers. On a personal level, my TED talk, about the origins of HALT, was pretty special.
What has been the most surprising thing for you?
How quickly men can open up. We see men as being tough, strong and stoic, which is ok, but I was surprised how little it takes for men to open up and talk about personal aspects of their lives.
Have you found men are becoming more open about mental health?
Yes, men are certainly becoming open to talking about mental health, we just need to create the right safe and trusting environment for them to do this.
What advice can you give men who battle with opening up?
Reach out and access help. Make the call to see your doctor, indeed, take your mate to the doctor, counsellor, psychologist, ring Lifeline, get online and seek help through beyondblue and headspace, there is so much help out there and most importantly, you're not alone, there are alot of people going through what you are going through and you will get through this! Please talk with a mate, have empathy and compassion, risk factors to mental health issues can include childhood trauma, financial issues, relationship breakdowns, family, grief and loss, physical, drugs and alcohol, gambling, abuse and many more.
Where can we find out more about HALT?
Head to our website.
Or email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a Facebook.