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Inspiring men to seek help

Peter Lienesch doing the BeyondBlue challenge on Facebook. Peter has a simple message for men with depression or anxiety – don’t deny it! See a doctor! PHOTO Facebook

A Facebook challenge meant as a light-hearted campaign to raise awareness for men’s mental health had an unexpected outcome for local man Peter Lienesch.

Within days of Peter posting his response to the challenge, which was supported by mental health organisation Beyondblue, he had responses from other men talking about their own battles with the black dog.

The Facebook challenge also forced Peter to confront his own battle with depression and be unashamedly public about it.

“I was only going to do the usual challenge after a mate nominated me, which was to drink a raw egg and have a beer and a couple of other things, but when I started my video post – well, the next thing I was talking and I couldn’t stop,” Peter said

“It was all a bit ad-lib, but it did cut me deep because I have had depression and anxiety for about twelve to eighteen 18 months.

“I didn’t want to nominate other blokes to do the drinking part – I thought it would be better to say, ‘get to a doctor’. It was about helping local blokes out more than anything.

“Since that, the post has gone has been watched and shared thousands of times, and I have had phone calls from Bathurst to Broken Hill, so I know blokes have gone and helped themselves since I posted that.

“It was just pretty much to send a message – I am a big strong bloke, 6 foot 4 inches, and I never thought that I would get depression. But I did. It was culmination of everyday life for any bloke – work, money, kids, family.

“I couldn’t go to work anymore – I found out I needed a major back operation and that pretty well floored me, and of course while I was in hospital for four or five weeks well, that’s when I hit my real low.

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