Australian cricketing hero Brad Hogg wants to hit mental health for six with new collaboration
Australia's second most successful spinner in terms of wickets taken, Brad Hogg, wants to improve mental health awareness in country areas, with a particular focus on educating farmers about being open about their struggles.
Speaking to Flow FM’s Country Viewpoint producer Dan Crouch this week, Hogg said contributing to a worthwhile cause has been rewarding.
“It's just an awareness of mental health that we do see out in the ag [agriculture] industry out in the country areas…I'm just going out there sharing my story and sharing my experiences,” Hogg said.
“Just trying to get the message out there that you're not weak because a lot of people go through them [mental health challenges].
Hogg went on to remind country-based listeners that there is no shame in putting themselves first and taking a break where needed, rather than fronting as hard-shelled.
“It's just about trying to get out there and get that support to help you get through those tough times and get you on the road to help you achieve those goals, but also about taking a break as well, that's probably the theme that we've got this year is take a break.
“When we say take a break, you might be working hard for the week putting the crop in but every now and then just make sure you're checking with your mates next door, it might be just a phone call,” Hogg stated.
Hogg’s advocacy has come about through a new partnership between two leading agriculture peak bodies in Australia, Grain Producers Australia and Grain Growers.
Hogg went on to highlight precisely what the types of barriers and challenges are that farmers are susceptible in their everyday lives.
“It's a tough life on the farm because you've got nature that controls what's going to happen in your productivity for the year…if you don't have the right weather, all of a sudden you can have a couple of years of drought and then the money supply drops out and then you're waiting for that rainy day and when that rainy day comes, you've got to make the most of it,” Hogg exclaimed.
“So, there's all those pressures and when those pressures are rising, your family members, your community, everyone stressing and just that vibe that you have around there, can play a huge effect and you just want to make sure that you do have a little bit of positivity around that negativity just to limit it.
“You don't want to get in a deep, deep hole and you really get internal and you think things are bad and you don't have that outlet of any positivity or sharing your story or having fun with mates and seeing the bigger picture, things just get darker and darker and the longer you're in that negativity, the harder it is to get out of it.”
Hogg’s message comes off the back of a particularly important and relevant period given it is currently Men's Health Week.