Hogg puts fo­cus on youth

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - Any­one ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a per­sonal cri­sis can tele­phone Life­line: 13 11 44

BRAD Hogg knows first-hand about strug­gling with a men­tal ill­ness.

The pop­u­lar Big Bash spin­ner hit rock bot­tom in the wake of his re­tire­ment from in­ter­na­tional cricket and break­down of his first mar­riage, and even con­tem­plated tak­ing his own life.

But with the help of oth­ers, Hogg, pic­tured, turned his life around and pro­duced one of the more re­mark­able cricket come­backs with the Perth Scorchers.

So when he was asked to speak to high school stu­dents about his men­tal health bat­tle as part of this week­end’s Tour of Mar­garet River cy­cling event, he jumped at the chance.

The 46-year-old be­came a Life­line am­bas­sador this year and has teamed up with Cove Le­gal to help raise aware­ness for in­de­pen­dent not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Youth Fo­cus, which of­fers free coun­selling to help young­sters with de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and self­harm and sui­ci­dal thoughts.

“Men­tal ill­ness is a big prob­lem and we’re see­ing kids a lot younger suf­fer­ing de­pres­sion, so it’s about try­ing to give them the tools to fight this stigma,” Hogg said. “Life­line and Youth Fo­cus are two char­i­ties that are fairly well aligned with each other.’’

The Tour of Mar­garet River fin­ishes to­day with a 71km stage three (Nan­nup to Balin­gup) and 42km stage four (Balin­gup to Nan­nup).

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