PERFECT strangers chilling around the barbie could be the key to helping men struggling with mental health issues.
Mr Perfect barbecue meet-ups were launched five years ago in Sydney when founder Terry Cornick experienced troubles with his mental health.
Now the unique grassroots charity is being expanded into South Perth for the first time by Beckenham resident Ryan Baker.
Mr Baker said the barbecues were a great way for men to get out, meet new people and speak to others about mental health issues.
He discovered the charity after struggling with his own mental health.
“I started to withdraw from people and struggle with my work as a sole proprietor in my own finance business,” he said.
“Although I didn’t feel my issues were too bad when compared to others, I knew something wasn’t quite right.”
Mr Baker said a colleague in NSW suggested he look into Mr Perfect.
“When I looked it up, I felt a sense of connection,” he said. “I liked the simplicity of what the charity did and I understood just what an important cause it was as I have seen a lot of men with mental health issues.”
Mr Cornick said Mr Perfect was born after he realised he was not perfect and as he shared his story with others, they felt comfortable, accepted and connected.
He said there are many men who were isolated.
“In some areas where we’ve held barbecues, we’ve had men who haven't been out in six months and some who have just moved to a new area and don't have any friends,” he said.
The first local meeting will be on Sunday, November 17, from 10.30am at the end of Hurlingham Road on the South Perth foreshore.
Beckenham man Ryan Baker is hosting the first Mr Perfect barbecue for mental health. www.communitypix.com.au d496725