ONE in two Australian men have had a mental health problem at some point in their lives and three out of four suicides are men, according to the Movember Foundation.
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As the nation becomes more and more accepting of speaking out about mental health, it is our men that are still being left behind as they continue to build on the statistics of being comfortable enough to raise their hand and bravely say, ‘I need help’.
One Port Stephens man is ensuring that he provides a strong role model for Men with mental health concerns, as he shared his story with News Of The Area.
For Darren Bisson, an event in February 2017 shook his family to the core.
For the next 18 months, Darren did what any typical husband and father would do, and he focused on his family, at what turned out to be at the cost of his own physical and mental wellbeing.
In February 2018, it all came to a head, and Darren realised he needed help, and he put up his hand and asked for it.
On a particularly dark day, Darren received an email from the Movember Foundation asking if he would be interested in nominating to run the NYC Marathon in November as part of a 25 person team.
Not thinking he had a chance, having not run more than 10km in his adult life, Darren submitted a nomination. To his shock, he was accepted as part of an international team of 25 people to run the NYC Marathon on behalf of the Movember Foundation.
Darren told News Of The Area, “With no experience in running, I was not sure what I had gotten into.”
“With my weight ballooning to 108kg, I started a 6 month marathon training program to begin preparations.”
“To assist in my journey, I’ve taken sledgehammer to my diet to bring my weight down, which is assisting my training,” he said.
Since starting his training, Darren has improved his running time by five minutes.
He said, “Still a long way to go, but each improvement counts.”
Darren will compete in the NYC Marathon in November, and is using his Facebook page and GoFundMe page in the meantime to use his training story to shed light on Men’s mental health.
His Facebook page for this event, to keep track of his progress is; https://www.facebook.com/NovocastrianRunsNYCMarathonForMovemberFoundation/
News Of The Area will keep up to date on Darren’s progress as he prepares for this important event.
By Rachael VAUGHAN