WHY IT’S TIME TO MAN UP

THIS POW­ER­FUL NEW SE­RIES EX­PLORES TRA­DI­TIONAL NO­TIONS OF MASCULINITY – AND HOW THE PRES­SURE TO TOUGHEN UP IS COST­ING YOUNG MEN THEIR LIVES.

GQ (Australia) - - SOURCE -

The big­gest killer of Aus­tralian men aged 15 to 45 is not drink, or drugs, or car crashes – it’s them­selves. Un­for­tu­nately, Syd­ney Triple M ra­dio host Gus Wor­land knows the stats only too well. Ten years ago, he lost mate An­gus to sui­cide, one of the 2000 Aussie men who take their own lives ev­ery year. It’s a shock­ing and truly hor­ri­fy­ing fig­ure. Now, Wor­land’s de­cided to do some­thing about it, star­ring in a new three-part ABC se­ries, Man Up, with a mis­sion to chal­lenge what masculinity means, to get men talk­ing about their prob­lems, and save lives.

GQ: Why did you want to get in­volved in this project? Gus Wor­land:

Ini­tially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about An­gus. We still talk about sui­cide in a whis­per be­cause we want to be re­spect­ful – it’s not some­thing we want to shout from the rooftops – but for me, [the show] was an op­por­tu­nity to work out some things I’d put to the back of my mind. I also thought I’d learn some­thing, which of course I did.

GQ: What stuck with you? GW:

When I found out that the No.1 way for a 15 to 45-year-old Aus­tralian male to lose his life is to take his own – that still shocks me to­day. It’s just un­be­liev­able.

GQ: What were some of the hard­est mo­ments to film? GW:

My evening at Life­line was in­cred­i­ble and sad – so many phone calls ev­ery sin­gle day. But the thing that got to me the most was talk­ing to An­gus’s wife and daugh­ter. I hadn’t re­ally spo­ken to them since he’d taken his own life, ex­cept hav­ing a hug the day of the funeral. That was an emo­tional mo­ment.

GQ: Why launch this cam­paign now? GW:

The con­ver­sa­tion has to start now be­cause in my Dad’s gen­er­a­tion, you were weak [if you showed emo­tion], so they just sup­pressed ev­ery­thing. My gen­er­a­tion are about 50/50, where some are able to show emo­tion and oth­ers aren’t, and now the next gen­er­a­tion will hope­fully break down that stereo­type. At the mo­ment, too many Aussie blokes would pre­fer to kill them­selves than show that vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

GQ: How do we get men to talk about is­sues? GW:

By tak­ing away the stigma of be­ing weak or ‘girly’. We’ve just got to get to the point where some­one should be able to walk up to their mum, dad, best mate or who­ever, and talk openly about how they truly feel with­out be­ing judged. To get there is go­ing to take more than this pro­gram, but it might ig­nite some dis­cus­sions that keep the con­ver­sa­tion go­ing. Right now, we’re los­ing five young Aussies a day and it’s just un­ac­cept­able. Man Up de­buts Oc­to­ber 11, 8.30pm on ABC and iview

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