Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast has announced the development of its own podcast series as a way of reaching out to the wider community and raising awareness of mental health.
Spearheading this project is Neil Pigot, a well-known and accomplished Australian actor, author, documentary maker and podcaster with a career spanning over 40 years.
He has suffered from his own struggles with mental illness, leading him down the path of substance abuse, which happens to as many as 60% of PTSD and bipolar sufferers.
His story of a descent from the stage to the street and the sometimes brutal reality of his recovery journey combined with his insight into the mental health sector, the issues surrounding prevention and appropriate care models, and the social determinants of mental health make him a powerful spokesperson during Mental Health Week.
“I felt at risk and so I called the critical response team and asked to be admitted to somewhere safe.
They told me there were no beds available. I rang the drug and alcohol people to see if I could get into a rehab and they told me the wait was six months.
“I was beyond distressed. I didn’t know what else to do and that night I attempted to kill myself. I was fortunate a friend intervened,” Mr Pigot said.
Podcasts have become an increasingly popular communication medium as they give the listener the flexibility to listen when they want, and you can also download the programs.
It’s almost a reinvention of the radio program without the need to be tied to a broadcasting schedule.
Called Buoyancy, the new initiative will explore the many different and highly nuanced aspects of and views surrounding mental health which has been described as a silent pandemic which has been developing over the last 40 years.
According to Lifeline Australia, the situation had already reached two significant mental health milestones when in 2019 antidepressants became the most commonly prescribed medication and, sadly, suicide took over as the leading cause of death among children, teenagers and young adults.
The aim of the series is to influence, educate and bring hope to people by advocating for genuine change in the way we collectively approach the subject.
Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast believe Buoyancy will assist in fostering a deeper understanding of the mental health challenges many people face across the country.