~ by Matt Tripet of The Fly Program
‘He had been sitting there with his legs shaking in the cold water, eyes wide open looking blankly through tears into a blue sky but nothing registered internally. His senses were numb.
That moment on that mountain stream turned from minutes into hours as he continued to be attacked with feelings of insecurity, guilt and brokenness; feelings that were once sporadic after ‘those events’ but had now become a part of his everyday life.
Many of those close to him tried to reach out but were only hurt as he continued to shut them out of his life. He hated the idea that something was wrong and any reference to the word ‘depression’ just seemed a total cop-out to his character.’
We have grown up with the idea that Australian men are an open book, and are pretty easily understood. However, even our mainstream health services struggle to understand and know how to engage successfully with our male counterparts. The most telling evidence of this is reflected in male suicide rates, with males accounting for nearly 78% of all suicides in Australia. A very real and staggering statistic that has not declined in the last 20 years.
Like many others, I learnt first-hand the impact mental illness can have on an individual and our community. I was that guy in the opening paragraphs, someone who had recently wrestled with the ‘black dog’ and was now digesting the news that a brother was gone because of suicide.
The heart-break and the pain of losing a family member is always difficult to grasp but losing a family member in these circumstances is impossible to comprehend. The weeks and months would pass and we would slowly learn to deal with the raw nature of the pain but the questions would never end.
Although we couldn’t always find the answers there was an enormous motivation to change the outcome for others, hence The Fly Program was founded.
The Fly Program is a registered Health Awareness Charity endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office entitled to receive income tax deductible gifts and deductible contributions seeking to raise the awareness and combat the impacts of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide in the Australian adult male community.
Our programs are aimed at facilitating environments where Australian men can find a release and increase their quality of life, whether directly, or indirectly touched by the threads of mental illness, instituting a new outlet – participation in the natural world through recreational fishing and mountain biking as a reprieve from the day-to-day challenges too many face in our community.
We are very proud to be located in the Jindabyne region and share our magical backyard with Australian men.
The restorative benefits of walking one of our trout streams, or riding one of the many mountain bike trails has the means to provide respite and support for those impacted by mental illness.
Community donations and fundraising initiatives are essential to help us continue the work we have started, facilitating world-class programs that are saving and improving the lives of Australian men.
For more information on our work in the community, or to make a tax deductible donation please visit our website www.flyprogram.org.au
To sponsor a man into a program, or to host a fund raising event from your outlet please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Tripet – CEO and Founder
The Fly Program