Code Blue

“A lot of people don’t realize that depression is an illness. I don’t wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it.”

— Jonathan Davis

It's not very often that I write a post like this, but this is something that I feel very strongly towards. Because it brings together two things I care deeply about, although in very different ways - mental health, and sport. And not just any sport, but the sport of the season... yep, you guessed it - cricket.

Tomorrow is the Prime Minister's XI here in the Can. And obviously the PM is attending - and so is her partner, Tim Mathieson. And he is Patron of the match-day charity, and this is where for me, it gets very relevant, and extremely important. Because not only is it a local organisation, it is one that targets an often forgotten area in terms of societal need.

Its name? Menslink. Never heard of it? You wouldn't be alone. But for young guys aged 12-25, it's a light in the darkness.

Four out of five suicides in Australia are men. Today, five men will take their own lives. While we are traipsing into the game tomorrow, and yelling at the umpires - five more. Each year, more guys die by their own hand than our entire national road toll.

Am I depressing you? I hope so. Because there are so few organisations out there that aim to help young blokes in particular with the positive side of life, that to see one like Menslink getting exposure at a sporting event is, for me, too great an opportunity not to scream it from the rooftops.

Like most people my age, I have lost friends to suicide. Two of them were in my early twenties. One of them was my very first love. And I can't help but wonder - if he had had the support of an organisation like this, would he still be here? I know it's no use looking to the past, so instead I will be looking to the future tomorrow at the crickety and proudly doing what I can to support a group that supports blokey care.

ACTCricket are behind them. As are the Raiders and the Brumbies. So everyone in the ACT, do something amazing for sport and your species - at the match tomorrow, make a very simple gesture.

Wear blue. Just like the Pink Test, but for boys.

Because they matter too.

Go hard. Go cheer. Go think of your mates who may be not as smiley and happy as you think. Go and remember the friends you have lost because they had nobody to talk to.

Go Blue.