The nation-wide problem has led headspace to embark on a striking national campaign aimed at one of the most influential people for many young men: their fathers.
Hindmarsh – a father of four sons – said he is proudly lending his voice to the headspace Fathers campaign.
“I look at my four boys and I want them to know that I will always be available to talk to them – day or night – whatever problem they might be facing,” he said.
As part of the campaign, headspace clinicians have designed a set of tools and tips to help fathers to support their sons through mental health challenges.
Hindmarsh said it was vital that fathers learn the triggers and warning signs for their children, and the practical ways to start a conversation.
“Often just talking about it is the hardest, but most important, step to take when dealing with mental health worries,” he said. “Australian dads can make this step even easier by taking the initiative in these conversations.”
“In past generations men were sometimes reluctant to open up about mental health issues but with the services and support available today we should be able to change that,” he said.
“Fathers can play a vital role in identifying the early signs of mental illness and helping their sons get the support they need but many men are unsure how to start the conversation or what services are available.”
“From a practical level, dads can set the scene and think about where they are going to have a conversation, in the car perhaps, or kicking the footy– the conversation should be had in a safe and comfortable space.”
“I encourage all parents, especially Dads, to visit the headspace website for the tools and tips to help them support their sons.”
For further information about starting a conversation with a young person, especially for dads and their sons, please visit www.headspace.org.au/dads