A FISHING program that aims to give renewed hope to men suffering from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety will receive a $41,000 boost from the NSW Government.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair and Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies recently announced the funding for The Fly Program, founded by Matt Tripet who tragically lost his brother-in-law to suicide in 2013. Mr Blair said the program is already delivering life-changing results. “Matt isn’t just casting a line with men in mountain streams, he is ‘casting’ awareness and helping men find their voice to speak up when times get tough,” Mr Blair said. “Fly fishing requires patience, a calm and focused mind and a willingness to learn, but through that process you are guaranteed to feel more grounded and more connected with the world around you.”
Mr Tripet said the program is designed to help men who may be directly or indirectly struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and/or suicide.
“We’re committed to providing men with an environment where they not only explore amazing locations on the mountain bike or with the fishing rod at hand, but also use these experiences as the platform to explore new frontiers within themselves,” Mr Tripet said. “We began the program in the Snowy Mountains but I am now working towards launching in several locations right across the state – I want it to be accessible to men everywhere.”
Mrs Davies said suicide affects men at a rate three times greater than women and men are less likely to access mental health services. “This program means men can seek advice or help in a less daunting way,” Mrs Davies said.
For more information on The Fly Program, visit flyprogram.org.au
If you or someone you know needs help, call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 or for crisis support phone Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au